I've been brewing off and on for a few years and just upgraded to a 15 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker. This helped with my first attempt tonight at BIAB + No-Chill.
-- Brewing in the back yard over a turkey fryer with a nice kettle with a good built in thermometer is much more relaxed than trying to do it all in a small kitchen with an undersized pot.
-- I only reached 62% efficiency. I heated 8.5 gallons of water to 158 F, and added the grains. For most of the mash I kept the temperature between 152 F and 154 F. After an hour I raised the temperature to 170 F and then lifted out the bag to drain it. Then I moved on to my boil.
Ideas about what went wrong:
1) My grain was crushed at the standard coarseness.
2) Perhaps I should have let it sit at 170 F for 10 minutes before lifting the bag to drain.
3) Perhaps I should try holding back a bit of the water to do some sort of sparge.
What do you guys think?