Odin wrote: If there is one "grain" out there that looks different, it is corn,
Yeah, Odin, you said that right. That's the first thing I learned about mashing, is how special corn is.
My 3 lbs. has been in the cooker for about 12 hrs. now, between 180 and 190F. The pH started at 7.0. I raised it to 7.9. I certainly don't want to go any higher than that since I'll have to bring it back down for mashing. Did some more reading, and got to thinking that corn prolly has plenty of protein for the reactions, but it's pretty low on the reducing sugar, so I dissolved a little sugar and added that. I don't see any browning going on, and all I can taste is a little sugar and baking soda.
Do you ever roast corn cobs on the bbq? That's what I had in mind. It's a way different flavor from boiled or steamed corn. Maybe that's caramelized. Or maybe it's because that is sweet corn with way more sugars than this field corn raised for animal feed.
On the upside that pot o' corn won't need any more cooking for today's mash. It is gelatinized beautifully. In fact, I'll just leave it in the cooker for the day while I get some more malt and mash it tonight. So if anybody has anymore ideas I would love to try them, but I think we just learned that maize is not a good candidate for the Maillard Reaction.
I will continue to watch this thread with interest. I aspire to ryes and single malts in the future, so keep up the good work. I still think you've got your finger on a bonanza of flavor.