I finally made the jump to AG. The process went pretty smooth, I have only been freaked out once so far....(Besides almost forgetting to pitch the yeast)
I made Ed Wort's haus pale ale. I was only able to achieve a OG of 1.043, instead of his published 1.051. I tried to follow all the advice in the efficiency sticky, but could not do all of it, since I do not have a grain crusher (ordered it crushed). When I mashed in, I did notice that the grain did not seem to be crushed very much? But, who am I to tell, since this is my first? (More info on setup, and temps below)
I put my brew bucket in my dark room where the air conditioner condenser is, and did not open the door again for 3-4 days (can't remember? too much beer). I was surprised and freaked out when I saw no activity in the air lock. Today (6 days post brew) I went ahead and took a gravity reading and it was 1.010. I guess it fermented out that quick? My extracts seemed to take longer. It smells really really good though... There seems to be a lot of yeasties floating on top, but other than that, looks good.
Anyway, if anyone has any comments of the above, I would appreciate it. Without all of the great advice on this forum, I would not have even attempted to go to all grain.
P.S. I went ahead and made some Apfelwein while I was waiting on brew day, it is still bubbling away...Mmmm
Followed Ed Wort's instructions:
I used 10 gal. Water Cooler with false bottom, and all temperatures Ed reccomended: "
Single Infusion mash for 60 minutes at 152 degrees.
I batch sparge in a 10 gallon water cooler with a stainless braid manifold.
Dough-in with 3.5 gallons of water. After 60 minutes, add 5 quarts of 175 degree water and begin vorlauf. My system only takes about 2 quarts before it clears up, then it's wide open to drain in the kettle. Have another 3.25 gallons of 175 degree water ready for the next batch sparge. You should then get 6.5 gallons to your kettle for the boil."