So I am still in the early experimental stage and decided to do a partial mash for my fifth brew. I went with a recipe for a mild, both to try something new and to keep the grain-bill down on my first grain attempt. I am doing half-sized (2.5 gal) batches and after looking at the grain bill figured "What the hell!" and did it all grain instead of a partial mash.
With only 4 pounds of grain, I used a 2.5 gallon rectangular cooler - the size that fits a twelve-pack of soda cans and is taller than it is wide. It doesn't have a spigot and I haven't installed a braid, false bottom, or anything.
I batch sparged by scooping the grains into a fine-mesh strainer over the brew pot to let them drain, then return to the cooler for a batch of sparge water for about 10 minutes and few stirs. Scoop back to strainer, then rinse by pouring the remaining sparge water over the grains in the strainer. It seemed to work well efficiency-wise. I came up with almost 69% efficiency. Alright for a first-timer, eh?
However, with no grain bed to filter, the wort was really cloudy. So what can I expect taste-wise from the cloudiness? Not too worried about appearances at the moment, but might consider finings in the fermenter or the bottle if needed.
Lay some wisdom on me, oh lords of the brew!