Wow, thanks for all the great input everyone! I have definitely decided to scrap mash hopping (I am flushing hops down the toilet as I type
) and give FWH a whirl.
I have started the basic construction of the beer and would love feedback on the grain bill (I'll go into hops later...). This is just a rough outline and I'll give quantities in percentages rather than poundage of grain (in case anyone wonders, I started out by constructing the bill on paper, then moved to BeerSmith, which is why all of the percentages are in decimals...as I tweaked the gravity, etc., that's just how the program spit out the results).
Maris Otter Malt -- 81%
Munich Malt -- 5.7%
CaraPils -- 4.8%
Crystal 40 -- 3.6%
Dextrose -- 4.8%
This brings me to an estimated O.G. of 1.080 and a color of 8.9 (I am not wedded to those values, but as a rough draft, that's what I set out to get)
I am using the dextrose to of course boost the gravity while increasing fermentability -- I am going for a pretty dry beer to allow the hops to blast through. I know that I can accomplish this with mash temperature, but the recipes that I have brewed have all used dextrose as well, so I figured I'd stick with it (incidentally, I plan to mash at 150F or even a bit lower).
My biggest concerns are the CaraPils and the proportion of crystal. I am keeping the crystal pretty low, gaining color from the Munich malt (as recommended in the Steele article). The CaraPils is for head retention, and I have seen it in other recipes. However, I think I may be able to accomplish the same thing with a portion of wheat malt, although I don't recall seeing that in other examples.
Feedback is welcome and appreciated! This is fun...I should build more of my own recipes (unless, of course, this grain bill is a recipe for sewage...)