Originally Posted by hbhudy
Can Vienna be used? Is it only Crystal or Cara grains that can be used for color and flavor? I have not used extract in a VERY long time and very rarely did I use grains.
You can use ANY grain- the thing is, some grains must be mashed.
What I always did when I used extract, was to always do the procedure for a partial mash, so it didn't matter if the grains needed to be mashed or if they could be steeped.
What I mean is this- always use 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain, and always bring it to 165 degrees and add the grain. Stir in the grain (in a grainbag) and stir well. Make sure it's at 150-155 degrees, and leave it be for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, lift up the grainbag in a colander, and pour 170 degree water over the grains until you're at your boil volume.
That's it! It's the correct technique for a partial mash, but it won't hurt to steep the grains this way also so you never have to figure out if you need to do a partial mash or a steep. It works for both, and takes all of the guesswork out of it.