Sorry to create two threads asking questions but this one really needed its own.
I was wondering what the difference is between mashing specialty grains vs. steeping them separately and adding them and mixing them into to the mash before first runnings. I ask because I recently did an AG version of my extract Weizenbock, and while it came out good it wasn't anywhere near as complex as my extract version. Now, I fermented a lot cooler so that can be the majority of the differential, but I got to wondering and looked it up and found a test that was done by an HBT member that showed a difference in conversion/fermentability - notably that when mashing the specialty grains there is a close to 10% more fermentability as a result of the conversion.
I was wondering the difference between doing as I did and mashing the crystal malts as opposed to steeping them like I did prior in the extract version. I'd done the extract version several times and it was always an amazing beer, I even proudly posted the recipe on here. My AG version however, while clean and fresh and certainly good, is far more one dimensional whereas my extract version had several flavor layers.
Now, last thing I'll say is for my AG version I used the same crystal malts and I even used the same Briess malts and balance as found in the extract I used.