I am playing around with my Stout recipe. I have mentioned in other posts that I seldom hit my OG target when brewing a beer in the neighborhood of 1.100. I have learned that some of that is due to lower efficiency in the mash, so I have adjusted the recipe to account for a ~64% efficiency.
I'm also thinking I need a thinner mash to help the conversion. But the sparge volumes get so small that I think the conclusion is to do a 'no sparge' mash. If I do that will I encounter any unforeseen issues or is it as simple as just not sparging, and putting all your water in for the mash.
And then I start thinking of a Parti-gyle mash, and using the second runnings for canning starter wort. So then I wonder how to estimate the OG of the second runnings so I can hit the target of 1.040.
And finally, given my mash tun size of 15 gallons, and the above factors, I still am limited to an OG of about 1.095. So then I start thinking about adding DME/LME to bump the gravity. Unfortunately I have only ever done whole-grain brewing. What color of malt extract would be best for a stout? Is LME superior to DME? At this point since DME is more available I'd go with that, but I don't like how it clumps when I have done starters with it.
That is a lot, but what do you think? Am I on the right track?