Originally Posted by panicbuttonguy
So what I did last brew day was sparge until I got 8 gallons instead of 7.5 (my normal amount) and then I boiled off the extra .5 gallon (which took like 15 mins) and then added my first hops. Using this method I got really close to my desired OG. The main question . . . Is this method ok? Or should I be doing something else?
That's absolutely fine, and in fact some brewers (like Jamil Z) say that a 90 minute boil is actually preferred.
Northern Brewer will NOT let you adjust their mill, so if that is where you are getting your grains crushed, don't even ask. It's "locked" right where it is, but that's ok if you know it in advance.
I'd suggest getting a water profile ($16.50) so that you actually know your water profile before adding anything to it, especially that 5.2 stabilizer (lots about that in the Brew Science Forum are).
What IS your typical efficiency? If it's above 68%, I'd quit chasing the number and just work on consistently getting the same efficiency. It's one thing if it's 55% one time and 75% another time- that's a real problem. But if it's in the high 60s each time, that's fine.