Originally Posted by bwgolling
That is interesting. How much time makes the difference between steeping and mashing?
Steeping is generally done for 30-45 minutes at 150-160 degrees with the intention of extracting color and some flavors from grains. The "Caramel/Crystal" grains (same thing) go through a process that caramelized the sugars inside, making mashing unecesary.
Mashing is done for about an hour at 150 to 154 degrees and is much more sensative to the temperatures and times during the mash. Mashing is the process that uses emzymes to extract/convert the startches in grains to fermentable sugars. You then sparge the grians to "wash out" (my incorrect termanology) any sugars left in the grains.
When you pay for Dry or Liquid Extract, you are paying for the maltsters to perform a mash for you.
I am no expert on the topic, but this guy is: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/