Partial mash extract kits

I noticed NB has a section where it sells partial mash kits separate from extract kits. I want to do a partial mash for my next brew. Can’t you just use partial mash techniques for all the extract kits with specialty grains? I want to do a Chocolate Milk Stout next. Will there be a big difference in taste and body if I brew the stout using partial mash instead of regular extract techniques?

When you brew an extract with steeping grains the grains are only adding some flavor and color. You are not getting any fermentables out of the grains. When you do a partial mash you are actually doing a small scale mash with fermentable grains. There are plenty of recipes out there that are partial mash versions of extract or AG recipes. I hope this all makes sense.

You are getting some sugar, just not very much, maybe something like 10ppg. Do a hydro test with some wort after steeping, I’ve seen 1.004 or so depending on the steeping grain. With my Innkeeper, I did notice an increase in the biscuit flavor after treating the steeping grains as a mash. Also, some of those darker, roastier flavors seemed to come out of my stout a little more. I steep at 150*F for 30 minutes. Then bring my grains up to 170 and … squeeze the bag!

The perception I got was that there was a difference but I never tested them side by side.