Did my first all-grain brew yesterday, an Oatmeal Milk Stout. Having done a few extract brews, I wasn't prepared for the sheer volume involved with a 9-pound grain bill!
I wasn't sure my stovetop setup was going to be able to handle it, but it seems the weak link was actually me! I tried transferring my mash (used a grain bag to contain it) from the mash tun to a second kettle (with a couple additional gallons of hot water) to collect the runnings, and that actually went fine, at first. I was trying to prop the grain bag into a colander to keep it from submerging fully back into the water. I changed my mind (not sure why, anymore) and tried moving the colander-bag back to my mash tun, maybe to let it drain into that pot? and the colander slipped into the tun, dropping the whole grain bag back in and splashing the entire kitchen with hot, steamy wort.
So, I pulled the grain bag back out and moved it to the sink, which at least contained that part of the mess. Unfortunately, since I now needed to clean the kitchen before I could continue, this rendered the mash (and whatever runnings were still trapped in there) unsalvageable. I almost tossed the whole batch, but figured, even a small batch of stout is better than none, so I saved what I could, cleaned up all the splashed wort, added the sparge water into the mash tun (still saved about 4 gallons!) and continued with my boil.
Everything else went about as expected. Boil went fine, cooling took a while, but was otherwise uneventful, transferred to my carboy with no problems. Pitched my yeast at about 80°, and put on the airlock.
I'm hoping that this still manages to be a decent batch of stout, though I expect that by not being able to sparge the wort properly that I lost a lot of the flavor and fermentable. The OG was still 1.050 before I pitched my yeast, so I'm hopeful.
This was going to be my Dwarven Ale, but considering the mess I made of it, I think I'm going to call it my Fiasco Stout instead.