Thanks for all of the responses, and thanks for the vote of confidence, Scott!
For the record, the grain bill for a 5 gallon recipe calls for:
7 lb Pale Malt (Maris Otter)
2 lb Flaked Barley
1 lb Black Barey (crushed “almost to dust”)
It’s very nearly the same recipe that Chuck was good enough to post.
So after reading the responses, I see that there is clearly more than one was to skin this cat. In thinking of the various ways to go about it, I had the following thoughts/questions:
I now see that if I just skip the protein rest altogether, there should be no ill consequences.
If I mashed in thick (1 qt./lb.) at 120 and then added enough boiling water to raise the temp. to 150, I see that the amount of additional water would make the mash quite thin – would this be a concern?
The idea of a doing a decoction actually did cross my mind, but seemed like a technique that only the virtuoso brewers used. I googled around and found a decoction calculator that gave me the following numbers:
Pounds of grain: 10
Quarts of Water: 12.5 (@ 1.25 qt./lb.)
Mash Temp: 120
Target Temp: 150
Decoction Temp: 212
Decoction Volume: 9.8 pints (about 5 quarts)
If I decide to go all in and try a decoction, would I simply pull 5 quarts from the mash, heat it to boiling, and then add it back? I didn’t know if the grain to water ratio mattered when I pulled from the mash or if the temp. had to be raised at a specific rate. Also, I’ve read a lot about not letting the mash temp get to 170 for fear of extracting tannins – how does this square with bringing a portion of the mash to boiling?