I'm designing a recipe for an extract porter (with steeping grains) and I had a few questions I hope someone can help me with. First, an easy question - do you think it matters what volume of water you steep the grains in? This will be a 5 gallon batch, and it would be easy to throw the steeping grains (caramel malt, chocolate malt, and black malt) into the kettle in a nylon bag (a BIAB bag) in the full water volume once the water has reached 155° F or whatever and hold it there for an hour. I would then remove the bag and bring the water up to boil before adding DME and hops and proceeding as usual. But is that too dilute a solution for steeping? Will I extract excessive tannins or something? (I'd think not because the dark malts should get the pH pretty low in my very soft water, but I don't know.) If necessary, it wouldn't be that difficult to warm up a separate pot with 1-2 gallons of water and do the steeping in that, adding it to the full kettle once the steeping is done. But I'd like to know if that accomplishes anything. Second, a harder question - does anyone know what water profile is used in the manufacture of Briess DME, specifically the Golden Light product? I know that the standard advice is to use distilled or reverse osmosis water when brewing with extract, because the DME will already contain minerals. But I'd like to know how much carbonate I'm dealing with because if it's not very much, I'd like to bump it up a little to take the edge off the dark grains I'm using. I'm guessing that Briess doesn't use particularly alkaline water for its Golden Light DME because that would require a large pH adjustment in the mash. But I have no idea. Finally, does anyone have experience brewing with Briess's Pale Ale DME? Whereas Golden Light DME appears to be two-row malt with a tiny amount of carapils, Pale Ale DME is apparently 100% pale ale malt. That might be preferable for my purposes. Anyway I'm assuming Briess uses the same water profile for Golden Light DME and Pale Ale DME. I'm going to write a separate post about my plans for adjusting the carbonate level because it's kind of its own thing.