A few things to keep in mind:
1.) You would have to really search out a malt, continental or otherwise, that is undermodified. Most malts that are these days are done so intentionally
2.) One of the best articles we have found, and one we recommend any time this discussion comes up, is from Brauwelt
and forms the basis of the recommendations we usually make about step mashing. Pay special attanetion to Part 2:
("Some Reflections on Mashing - Part 1")
("Some Reflections on Mashing - Part 2")
These articles are great read regardless of whether you use the info or not.
3.) In my opinion, unless someone is doing a specific style that requires rests lower than Beta (β) rest temps, then anything lower than 144 ° F shouldnt be used. That of course depends on the gelatinization temps of that specific lot of malt.
4.) You really want to target specific mash schedules and temps based on the malt
used not the beer style
. I think people on both sides of this discussion can agree that mashing is malt specific whether you use a single infusion or a multi-step mash.
5.) With that said, targeting multiple β rest temps can be a useful tool to get the most extract out of your grain and increase fermentability (attenuation). Again, this depends largely on the malt so consult the data sheet to how it's specifications play into this.
6.) A long Alpha (α) rest temp helps preserve the body of the beer given that you will likely produce a highly fermentable beer with even a well chosen single β rest temp.
7.) The extended α rest combined with a prolonged mash out helps to bolster foam positive components.
Like all things, it's a combination of both preference and science. As many point out, the results sometimes don't justify the work for them. That's fine. For some it does and the literature is out there for them to get help effectively implementing a schedule that works for their needs.
With respect to Ken's OP:
But I am asking those of you here if you have found a good step mashing procedure that will create a bit drier finish in something like a helles or dortmunder or pilsner....At the moment I have a partial sack of Avangard Pilsner and I have an unopened 55-lb sack of Swaen Pils as well.
Sounds like you might want multiple Beta (β) rest temps. Something like:
144 ° F, 147 ° F and 149-153 ° F
Do you have the malt analysis sheets for your pilsner malts?