At this point, I have read and re-read Palmer and I have decided to make switch over to AG, cuz I just want to make it that much more fun to brew.
I have a good to great deal of confidence in my process from all the reading, but the recipe building process and more specifically what each grain adds as far as fermentables and how that affects abv vs taste and that sort of stuff.
Buddy and I have decided to brew a burly brown ale that has a high 5 or preferably 6% abv.
I picked up a good recipe from Beersmith and off we go.
Grain bill is:
9# 2-row US
1# Caramel Malt 80L 6-row
0.5# Choc. Malt 
0.5# Special Roast 
1.5oz. EK Goldings (60)
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (10)
0.5oz EK Goldings (2)
At this point in the process of learning, my first question is:
1) What part of the bill gives it the higher abv potential? and Why?
The grains are providing the ppg like an extract.. yes, but what fermentables are giving it the abv boost and taste?
2) I have a package of Notty that expires 2/2013 and my experiences is that it is more suitable because with VT weather this time of year, my ferm temps will be 60's if I use a blanket or insulation.
Would i need 2 pkgs? (Recipe called for White Labs- California Ale btw)
3) Will 11# of grain fit into my 5 gal cooler with 3.5gallons of water?
PRIMARY: Northeast Style IPA aka "Roscoe"
PRIMARY: Centennial '75 Session IPA
BOTTLED: Razapple Wine- Vintage 2014
BOTTLED: Orange Haze Blonde
PLANNING: Centennial Orange Blonde
PLANNING: Roscoe V.2
Do not mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you will remember about me.