It seems from all the feed back the recipe itself was not all to good.
The recipe is fine. It the method of wort extraction that need to be tweaked.
Yes. And, despite what someone else said, 45 minutes should be plenty for a mash with modern grains.
1) Were the grains just "cracked" or actually milled? If you remember what they looked like, was there a lot of dust and little pieces of grain, or did you have mostly whole kernels that were completely intact without much little stuff? Ideally, you should have hulls that are mostly intact, and the hard pieces of grain should be in 3-5 little pieces with a decent amount of "flour."
2) Based on what you said, there should still have been a LOT of sugar left in your grains. You say you only boiled 3 gallons of wort; is this because of the size of you pot? If so, can you fit 2 pots on your stove and start off with ~ 6 gallons of wort? If so, then you should do:
- Mash like you just did. If possible, add about 3.5 gal of water to your grain to start.
- Drain off the water, split between the 2 pots
- add 3 more gallons, mix well, and drain off (you should get the whole 3 gallons back this time)
- Now, mix both pots well, and check your gravity (this is pre-boil) You should be doing much better.
This process is called batch sparging (you drain 100% of the water off the grains multiple times). If you can't fit the 3.5 gallons of water in your lauter tun, then you can use the same process, but mix and drain off more than 2 times. Just split each collection between your two pots.
If you can NOT boil 2 pots (or don't have them), then you will need to collect a lot of much stronger wort (so that you can dilute it after the boil). Either start off with a lot more grain, or add some malt extract to make up your pre-boil gravity. Let us know more about your situation and we can help more.