I recently had a debate with a brewing buddy of mine about malts that "need to be mashed". For instance victory malt is listed in Palmers "How to Brew" as being in the needs to be mashed column. I can understand that there are unconverted starches in the malts and mashing them makes fermentable sugars, blah blah blah.
Base malt certainly needs to be mashed because it normally consists of 80-100% of the grist. But if you were putting victory malt in at the rate of 5% or less. What starch load would you really get? If you made a base wort and steeped 5% of victory in a 6 gallon batch would a starch test even show positive? What does it matter at such a low amount.
What makes victory different than say crystal or chocolate malt, that it needs to be mashed when we are using them for small flavor or color adjustments? Victory can't self convert, but neither can Crystal 60.
So what does it really mean "needs to be mashed"?