Sun Dial in the Shade

The Story of This Beer

Updated 2015-11-28

Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?

This is my first beer. Well, technically not. I received a Mr. Beer kit many years ago but the passion for brewing didn’t take root at that time. It took hold when helping a former friend with his brewing and now has outlasted even that long lived friendship. It was the first I selected on my own and invested in.

I was, and still am, enamored on the founding fathers and was labeling my beers as “Living Proof Brewery.” Naturally, I drew from quotes, especially from Benjamin Franklin, like the one above, to come up with beer names. I have always reflected on the tension between talent or skill and humility and liked the sentiment Franklin captured.

I at first thought I would make what many home brewers attempt early on, a massive, chewy, boozy stout. When I saw the recipe and the warnings about stalled fermentations and re-pitching, I revised my notion and started with a clone of Goose Island’s oatmeal stout. I do add some raw sugar for a bit of a boost but the recipe has evolved to have a far more English character. I like to think early American beers would be largely indistinguishable from their counter parts across the pond.

The recipe is a bit busier than my newer recipes but I think the results speak for themselves. Despite the complexity of the grain bill, the beer has ended up well balanced with the lengthy list of malts coming through in a fairly subtle way.


  • The first version of this beer was a Goose Island oatmeal stout clone with a pound of brown sugar added.
  • Version 2.0 – This version started to move away from the clone. I converted it from an extract beer to a partial mash, exploring the grain bill with the addition of whole grain to replace dry malt extract.
  • Version 3.0 – This version completes the beers change to an all grain recipe while trying to preserve things I liked in the previous recipes.
  • Version 4.0 – I love the earlier versions of this beer but am not so sure about the sugar addition. I hope this version will preserve the things I like about earlier iterations while still improving it. It should be a bit less dry without the sugar and hopefully by getting the oats up to a more typical fraction of the overall grain bill will capture more of the creamy mouth feel of the style.

Brew log

  • First batch bottled in December of 2010
  • Second batch bottled in January of 2012
  • Third batch bottled in January of 2013
  • Made 4th batch on 2015-11-07.


Short posts and images about this beer.

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