After 10 years I finally made the leap. I converted a 15 gallon rolling cooler, with a center drain using a 3/8 ball valve and a stainless, braided sleeve.
I decided to start with the Moose Drool clone from the Jamil show and set up Beer Smith to do a 10 gallon batch.
My grain bill totaled 20.51lbs. I decided on 1.8q/lbs because of info from another forum. So, 9.5 gallons at 170 got me to 151 degrees and it stayed there for the full 60 minutes. I got 5.25 gallons for my first runnings at 1.074. Sparged with 7 gallons at 173 degrees which brought my new grain bed (Batch Sparge) to 162 degrees. I got 6.75 gallons out, the 2nd runnings were 1.03 bringing my preboil gravity to 1.052 and what I believe to be 74.29 efficiency! I'm pretty pleased!!!
It smells great and the 800ml starter has it fired right up!
Thanks to all the Brew Network Folks and this site, it has caused the brew bug to re-bite me and now I feel like a whole new world has opened up! It is soooo kick ass that the info here is so rich that I could achieve these results straight out of the gate!
Forgive the cross-post on the other forum...I'm excited!