Today I decided to take the next step in my brewing process and dive into all grain brewing. I had been keeping up with many great threads on reddit about all grain brewing (this one in particular) as well as doing a lot of reading on the HomebrewTalk forums (again, this one in particular), and decided I could take the plunge.
One thing the articles called for was an additional 6+ gallon pot, but I was able to pick up a 5 gallon pot from Meijer for only $4.25, so I made due with that. My work started in the kitchen, since my stove could handle the lower-temperature needs. I mashed the grains for an hour in the steel kettle at 154-ish degrees, and then heated the rest of the water in the other kettle, rinsed the grains, ran some water through the grains as they sat on the kettle (the canning pot came with a real great rack that held the grains up above the pot).
It was a real process, but at the end, there was some sweet, sweet wort. I then took it out to the garage and boiled and brewed as normal, adding lactose (milk sugar) and cocoa powder when I had 15 minutes remaining in the boil. While brewing, it smelled like the best chocolate milk ever, and even more so after adding the cocoa and sugar. I’ll add the strawberries when it goes to secondary, and will add the vanilla at bottling. Not sure on what the post-boil OG is on this (hopville says 1.056, which is close to the 1.052 I got from the sample I scraped off at the hot break), since I broke another fucking hydrometer. We’ll see how it all works out!