I have been gathering equipment as I could get it (meaning as I could afford it) and I'm just about ready to brew my first AG batch. For reference the recipe is the American Pale Ale recipe from Brewing Classic styles.
Because I have to work with what I could get, I have some capacity issues I'd like advice on. My MLT is 5 gallons and according to this calculator (click me)
using 1.25 qt/lb I'll have a little less than 4.5 gallons of mash in my cooler. Kind of cutting it close but I can live with that.
My real issue is my brew pot. It holds 26 qts (6 1/2 gal). I haven't had boil over issues when doing extract brews or partial mash brews even if I start out just a few inches below the top of the pot (spray bottle of StarSan works great). However, from what I am reading I will have to start out with about 6 1/2 gallons of wert from my mash and boil it down to around 5 1/2 gallons for the fermentor.
To avoid boil over I was thinking of either boiling a gallon or so on my stove with the rest in the brew pot and then combining them at around 15 minutes from flame out. Would this be a good way to go? My volume should be way down by then. I am worried about hop attenuation - should I split my bittering hops proportionally between the pots?
By the way, here's my new MLT (cooler was free from a friend) and my home made mash paddle (thanks to those who posted pictures of theirs)