I went with:
11 lb California Select 2 row
1 lb carafa II
1 lb German Munich
1 lb Crystal 20
Mashing may have been the process with the most questions. I put the mash in at 130, and then pulled it at 170. Now, this is most likely where part of my problem is. From what I understand, it's not to get too hot, and interpreted that as, when it reaches 170, yank it rather than maintain that temp for a duration of time (sounding like and hour). I had it clocked at 25-30. That's not right, right? That was just for the mash. I did a 60 minute boil with 1 oz simcoe, 1 oz. citra, 1 oz. amarillo.
And my sparging techniques was to heat water in a separate kettle and run it over the grain and back into the mash. I'm seeing that technique isn't very effective. Also, I didn't reserve any amount of the recipe call water, and added more water in the sparge to the mash. So, like, 9 gallons in total.
I'm pretty much chalking this batch up as a lesson learned, but, maybe you guys can help me with number 2.
it's all good. lesson learned.
When mashing grains you want to stabilize the temperature of the full mixture at a temp ~155. This is the mid point of the range that goes ten degrees in either direction and a decent place to start. Now leave it there for an hour.
You also have to make sure you stir everything really well and all the grain is saturated with water. Your volumes were fine. you mashed with 7 gallons and sparged with 2 not ideal but not the problem. You would get about 7-8 gallons into the kettle which is fine. check out http://dennybrew.com/
for a very easy to follow explanation of the process and a nice and cheap way to get the equipment together.