Dam straight.What exactly are you grouping as non-fermentables? Are you talking just crystal malts and roasted malts? (that's the impression that I'm getting).
If so, I would think that boiling any malts that aren't dehusked will lead to a shit ton (yes, that's a real unit of measurement) of tannins in the finished wort, and therefore a horrendously astringent beer. Or am I incorrect in that assumption? (I am basing that on the fact that sparging too hot allegedly lead to tannin extraction from malts that aren't dehusked, so boiling would be even worse)
Give a classic Australian example, make Billy Tea, Cold Water, Tea, Sugar all in the billy, bring to a boil, hot rich sweet tea. Leave the sugar out and it could strip paint.
Point is that sugars in solution are blocking the tannins, maybe not completely but to a very large extent.
Same in a mash, just steeping grains in hot water will pull lots of tannins.
Also thing there is a lot more in some specialty malts than just what is water extractable, many have a bunch of starch and some proteins in them to, this needs mashing to be degraded or it will end up in the beer where it's guarinteed to cause haze problems.
Silly reasoning, better to fix the carbonate problem, that's what doing water chemistry is all about - making water that is fit for the beer you want to make.I have been doing it for a while now since I read Gordon Strong's book. Here is his explanation.
In this approach, the dark grains are milled and mashed along with the rest of the grains in the grist. This approach can lead to harsher, more astringent flavors in the finished beer, especially if the water being used is very alkaline, high in bicarbonates, or has a relatively high pH. Using dark grains in a traditional mash exposes the grains to the highest amount of heat for the longest amount of time, and so is most likely to produce a harsher, more astringent character in the finished beer.
Guinness takes advantage of the acidity from the large amount of roast grain to lower the pH into the mashing range. If you tried to make a pale ale in Dublin water without a fair amount of water chemistry I suspect you wouldn't get what you wanted.
CWE (Cold Water Extract) used to be a fairly standard part of most COA's (Certificate Of Analysis) talking back when UK breweries did every thing in UK barrels and pounds so ancient history, these days its been replaced by more useful (to commercial) brewers parameters, I think a lot of home brewers would find it handy.
CWE was just the mass that went into solution when milled malt was soaked in cold water, mostly used for Crystal malts
If you want to brew good beer start with good water - good means appropriate the the beer you want to make.
Just realised that this is totally OT - bit like the rest of this thread!