I'm pretty sure any polenta you buy at the store is degerminated for shelf stability.
Flaked corn is easy to work with but I don't find it has a lot of flavor to it. I don't know if that's a function of the way it is partially cooked and then left to sit until it sells or if they select a more bland corn variety. Flaked corn is used mostly to lighten the body of beers rather than produce a strong corn flavor so either could be true.
Bobs Red Mill Polenta has little black specs. They explain on their website those are pieces of germ.
I don’t know if the beer is astringent. It just has a strong corn flavor and some bite that I am not sure about.
I prefer the flaked maize. Just lightening the body and not providing flavor is really what I wanted. I was out and didn’t want to pay shipping for just flaked maize. My experiment failed.
Although, I hear Whole Foods may have corn flakes cereal without additives and sweeteners. I haven’t looked yet.