Originally Posted by wikidspik
so even if i let let it steep in my kettle for say an hour at an even 170 in my kettle then pull the grain bag and pour some water say 1or 2 quarts over it i'm still just flavoring it
Yes, if you're using kilned grains. These grains ("specialty grains") are kilned so that they are already converted. You're basically making "tea" with them.
I found this explanation on the internet:To add darker colors or roasty flavors, or caramel flavors, or biscuity flavors, or smoky flavors, or to change the body and mouthfeel of a beer, brewers often add some malt that has been handled differently from the base malt. Often it has been heated, either under dry or wet conditions, and it is no longer enzymatically active that means it will not convert from starch to sugar, and fuel the yeast. Its there in the recipe only for flavor, body and color, and usually makes up less than 10% of the total malt bill.
Here are some varieties of specialty grains and what they do for flavor & color:
-Crystal Malt: pale malt is heated while wet, and the starch turns to sugar and then caramelizes, all within the barleycorn. Crystal comes in varying degrees of darkness, but adds amber color and complex, sweetish, caramel notes to flavor. English Pale Ales usually have crystal malt to contribute to their rich malt backbone.
-Chocolate Malt: no chocolate here this is malt that has been roasted dry, in a drum like coffee, until it is a deep brown color. Used in porters, brown ales, and sometimes in other dark beers to give round, deep flavor notes that sometimes stop at nutty and dont reach roasty. Also used in small amounts in amber ales and even some pale ales.
-Black patent malt/roasted (unmalted) barley: Malted (or sometimes unmalted) barley roasted until black and charred. In judicious amounts gives roasty flavor and dark color; in heavier amounts makes for opaque black beer and sharply roasted flavors.
Now, if you're using base malt (like two row or Munich malt), you WILL be able to convert the sugars in them by using the proper amount of water at the proper temperature for the proper time.