Mashing in right now. Went with the NW recipe with 2lbs of D-180 syrup. 1.8L starter of WLP530 in the fridge ready to decant and pitch. Hit the mash temp dead on at 150. I plan to chill to 65, let it rise naturally and by day 2-3 use the brew belt to get it up into the low 80s if needed.
Edit: Hit the gravity pretty much dead on- 5.5g of 1.089-90. Chilled it a little too much (62) but tossed the brew belt on and got it up to 65. Now playing the waiting game for fermentation to take off. I went ahead and put the blow-off tube on to avoid waking up to a mess in the morning.
Edit2: This thing took off about 12hrs after pitching. Luckily i put on the blow-off tube or it would have been a mess. I tried dropping in some fermcap, but it's still tossing out a good bit of yeast/trub. Temps are up to about 76 now, they've been steadily increasing by 1 degree every 2-3 hours.
Edit3: About 28hrs in and temps around around 77-78. Seem to have plateaued as the steady temp increase per few hrs has stopped. Will keep monitoring it tonight. If no increase by tomorrow morning, will turn on the brew belt.
Edit4: Nearly 50hrs after pitching. Temps increased to 80 degrees overnight, but had a little trouble maintaining that since ambient is in the 60's. Added the brew belt and set temp to 82 +/- 1 degree.
Edit5: About 55hrs in now, temps controlled at 82 degrees. Holding this steady and playing the waiting game for the next 3-4 days.
Edit6: 100hrs into fermentation. Last 2-3 days temps have been held at 82 degrees. Pulled a sample out today, gravity at 1.020. Still lots of krausen on the surface and co2 being pushed out of the airlock, so i'm optimistic that it will drop to the expected FG in a couple days. The color is milky brown due to the yeast, but the taste and aroma are surprisingly very nice. I was apprehensive about fermenting in the 80s, but the flavor is clean with no detectable fusel alcohols. I pick up quick a bit of dark candi syrup in the aroma and flavor, both of which are quite excellent considering it's only been a little over 4 days since pitching.