I tried steeping in a smaller amount of water during my batch this weekend. Since I just brewed, I don't have an opinion on quality. I did notice one advantage, though. Since I'm boiling on a stove, I can steep in a smaller pot while the rest of my water comes up to boiling. It shaved about 30 minutes off of my brewday, which is the time it takes me to bring 4 gallons up to boiling.