All-grain brewing is the holy grail of homebrewers everywhere. And it should be. With all-grain you will be able to dial in a recipe perfectly, turn out awesome and complex beers, get crystal clarity and be able to truly say you crafted this beer from the ground up.
So what is going on.
What you need to accomplish.
Of course, when adding another complicated procedure to your brew day there is a ton of ways to screw things up. Here are a few mistakes I have made and how to do it right.
Blowing the strike temp.
So this is what you should do. Heat your strike water to around 170 degrees and have a gallon of cold water on hand. When you mash in take a thermometer reading and add a little cold water, slowly, until you hit your temp. Stir your mash up really well to make sure everything is wet and leave it alone for an hour. The malted grains you are buying right now are of very high quality so, for the most part, you won't have to worry about malt not converting. Just let it be.
Once I make sure my grain is good and wet and don't screw with it any more. I have found stirring it up, especially during the sparge, will get a lot of chaff and shit in my boil kettle. While it is true you can get more fermentables if you stir, I site Brewing Maxim #1, "Don't be a cheapass!" It is worth the extra pound or so of grain it will take to make up the difference in clear beer or chunky stuff.