I brewed my first all grain brew-in-a-bag style this weekend. It was awesome.
I brewed a variant of Ed Wort's Bee Cave Brewery Bavarian Hefeweizen
using 1 lb less of the red wheat and 1 lb less of the pilsner than the original recipe. I also picked up some honey for addition at high-krausen and for bottling.
I ordered my grains online as I needed a couple Tap-A-Draft caps and my LHBS doesn't carry them. The crush was almost non-existent.
Since I bought the grains online I didn't feel good about taking them to my LHBS and asking to run them thru the mill
so I put them in my blender about 1/3 lb at a time and pulsed them on "ice crush". It worked surprisingly well.
I poured 7 gallons of water into my 9 gallon Bayou Classic kettle, and started heating the water. I fitted my 5 gallon paint strainer bag inside the steamer basket and slid it into place in the pot. When the water reached 156 I poured in the grain and stirred until the temp came down to 153, then I put the lid on and waited. At the 90 minute mark the temperature was still holding above 150.
EDIT: 9 lbs of grain + 7 gallons of water + steamer basket brought the fluid level to my 8 gallon mark -still plenty of headspace for doing a bigger beer in this kettle.
I turned the heat back on and brought it to 170 (stirring the whole time). I then let it rest at 170 for 10 minutes, stirred some more and drained my grain. Although the bag had come loose from the steamer basket very little grain had escaped into the pot. Draining the grain was easier than I expected -I lifted the steamer basket up and wedged my brewing spoon under it at an angle. Once the majority of the liquid had drained I moved the bag to a colander over a small pot and squeezed out the remaining wort. I wound up with about 6.25 gallons of wort pre-boil.
I boiled the wort for an hour -down to my 5.5 gallon target line. Turned off the heat, pulled out my bag of hops, took a sample to chill and test OG (1.045), and put on the lid and let it sit overnight. About a 4 hour brew-day.
In the morning the wort was showing just over 80 degrees. I sanitized my fermenting bucket, drained the wort via the spigot on the kettle -letting it splash freely into the bucket for aeration. I got 5 gallons in the bucket, with about half a gallon of hot-break material (light brown, cottage cheese consistency) left floating in the bottom of the kettle.
I pitched a 1 liter starter grown from Wyeast 3068 harvested from my blood-orange Hefeweizen brew. I put the bucket into my fermenting cabinet with a couple frozen 2-liter bottles to keep the temperature down. When I checked it in the evening (and changed out the bottles) it was happily bubbling away.
EDIT: I spent about 2 hours on the second day mostly cleaning the gear and the stove and the floor...
Now I just have to wait and see how the finished product turns out.