Originally Posted by Jhubbard9
Thanks all this information had helped out a lot. The chart of conversion helped out tons! Another question is why can only some grains be steeped and others cant transfer sugars. Like a pale 6 row. But books are on order along with other thats that I have been reading. You guys have helped a lot any other reading or website would be awesome. I love all this new gained knowledge!
I think the best place as far as links are all the stickied threads on this site. Go to the area of interest, extract brewing, all grain, mead...) in the forum and the first threads shown are stickied. They are very informative.
All grains can be steeped. All that is happening is that the water is "rinsing" out flavor when you steep. You are not converting the starches to sugars.
But only some grains can mash, or at least mash by themselves. To mash several things are needed. One is starch which most grains have but it needs to be freed from its protein matrix. That is one of the things malting does, breaks down that matrix making the starch accessible. The other thing needed are the enzymes to convert the starches to sugars. The amount of enzymes present is known as the diastatic power. Some grains like pale malt have enough diastatic power to convert themselves as well as a other grain which may be mixed with it, assuming enough pale malt is present. But for roasted grain or even highly kilned grains like Crystal the heat has destroyed the enzymes so their diastatic power is zero. So if they are mashed alone there are no enzymes to convert the starches to sugars.