Have you ever discovered a new malt and wondered what it tasted like? Many homebrewers like to crunch a few kernels of a new malt. Crunching the kernels can give you a general idea of the flavor of the malt but it won’t be quite the same as if it has been mashed.
This is where the hot steep method comes into play. It is like doing a short, tiny mash to get a better idea of the taste of the malt. Briess Malting demonstrates how to perform this simple process.
You can find a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJWRpihU84Y
You can find additional information here: http://blog.brewingwithbriess.com/malt-sensory-methods-you-can-perform-in-your-own-home-or-brewery/