I did my first brew yesterday, and it went very well. The recipe was as follows:
Flying Fish Farmhouse Ale Clone
6 oz. 2 row sour mash (done for 24 hours)
8.7 # 2 row
0.5 # wheat
3 oz. carapils
0.25 oz. Magnum at 60 min.
0.25 oz. Styrian Goldings at 60 min.
0.25 oz. Styrian Goldings at 45 min.
0.25 oz. Styrian Goldings at 30 min.
0.25 oz. Styrian Goldings at 2 min
I heated my strike water to 165, the dough in temp was 150 (target 152). Heated it up to 152 with some 180 degree water, mashed for 60 minutes. I mashed out at the final temp (which was 150 degrees), and the gravity was 1.045 or so, I didn't do the correction for temp. I sparged with 7 gal. @ 170 degrees, and ended up with about 6.5 gals wort at gravity 1.03.
After 90 minute boil, I had a bit over 5 gals and before I pitched the yeast at 80 degrees the gravity was 1.046 (target was 1.045-1.048 sweet! ) Topped off with about 30 oz. water, pitched my starter.
First of all, I LOVE all-grain, so much fun! It was the first time I was actually able to make a pale ale look as light as a pale ale. But to the questions:
1) Do you calculate mash efficiency from the SG before pitching the yeast, or from pre-boil?
2) For my sparge, I poured the 7 gal. onto a quart pitcher into the mash, this was kind of a pain. I was able to get a polyethylene 5 gal. nalgene container from work, would this make for a good hot liquor tank (I don't know how well it would hold the heat)?