Originally Posted by TheMan
You are only steeping them in an extract + Steeping recipe. This is because without the base grains you won't really get any sugars from crystal.
I think this is a little misleading.
Crystal grains offer flavor, color, and unfermentable sugars. To get those things out of the grain, you need to put them in hot water.
You can do this with a simple steeping as an extract brewer, or you can throw them into the mash as an AG brewer (because, after all, mashing is really just a more controlled steeping with more attention paid to temps and water volumes). Extract and AG brewers both get the same things out of crystal grains.
I *could* separately steep the crystal and mash the rest of the grain, but that just complicates the process and gives me no difference in the beer at the end.