Good advice you're getting so far...
With that much wort in a 7.5 gallon pot, watch it like a hawk so it doesn't boil over.
Skip the extract late - the whole point of it is to avoid the too high gravity that results from all the extract in the reduced amount of water - full boil gets rid of that problem.
Yes, you'll get higher hop utilization. Depending on how the recipe was originally calculated, that may result in either correct recipe bitterness if it was calculated at normal gravity OR higher than expected bitterness if it was calculated expecting concentrated gravity.
Somewhere between 1 and 1.5 gallons boiloff is probably a good place to start. After a couple of brews you should end up gettting your system dialed in.
And yes, go ahead and skip the secondary - no need.
Thanks for the great replies!
I have done some additional homework and here is what I have found: The folks that put together the recipes informed me the hop concentrations are calculated for partial boils. I am assuming then that my IBU's will wind up higher in a full boil?
In addition they stated that they try to do late extract whenever they can so I think for the first run we will try it, evaluate upon sampling and tweak accordingly if we do another run based upon the finished product.
As for the secondary, this recipe does call for dry hopping so we will be doing it. In addition we have been doing secondaries to free up our primary so we can turn around and brew more beer at a faster clip, we also have been getting a clearer beer.
AS for the boil overs, we are aware, haven't had one yet but we monitor closely when it starts and at hop additions. I am pretty comfortable with the 6.5 gallons in the 7.5 gallon kettle. I am going to go on your all's advice about the 1-1.5 gallon loss estimate on the boil. The worst case is I get a little more or less beer and can make the notes accordingly to dial in the system.
You are all right! This is a lot of fun and as my wife, a chef said, "it's like cooking, honey, there is no right or wrong, just trial and error" so that's what I'm going with and so far the 5 varieties we have brewed so far have all been outstanding so I'm sure the full boils will be even better!
I'll get back to you all when we pop one open and let you know how it worked!