Did my first AG Friday. It was a Double Chocolate Stout. I could not have done it without all of the informative posts I have read here. My setup consisted of a mash tun made out of a rectangular cooler I already had, a 35 quart turkey fryer setup, and an immersion chiller. I must admit, the only thing I was really careful with was sanitation. I did a batch sparge with about 3 gallons of strike water, and 5 gallons of sparge water. Held to within one degree of the specified mash temp just by (educatedly) guessing the strike temp. I didn't have to add any water for temp control. In all it took about 4 to 4 1/2 hours, and I was within .002 of hitting my target gravity. I can live with that! This was my first time out of the kitchen, first full wort boil, first time chiiling without using an ice bath, and first time using my oxygenation system. It was fermenting strongly before I went to bed.
Again, thank you to everyone on this board who has asked or answered a queestion, as my post count reveals, I have not posted much, but have found answeres to all my questions just the same. So far, from the advice from this site, I have made great extract and partial mash beer, built a two keg kegerator, built a stir plate for my starters, made some very good equipment purchases, and from the looks of it, made an awesome AG batch. I thank you deeply for your help...my check book, not so much
Finally, for anyone on the fence about going all grain, it can be done relatively cheaply, the time investment turned out to be less than I had expected, and it was certainly alot of fun. I heartily recomend hopping off the fence and heating that strike water!