Good point Bribie, actually that cracked me up!
Probably speaking out my *rse a bit here, but I guess in days gone by there was not much known about the actual science, but the processes worked with the materials of the day while I suppose brewers worked much of it out by centuries of trial and error, the odd innovator and perhaps some serendipity. Processes may have seemed almost magical and were followed by rote, without much understanding of why particular parts of it were important and in which circumstances they could be changed. Nowadays we have much more insight into the chemistry and also different, perhaps more reliable, raw materials so some things may indeed be redundant.
Obviously, without the enquiring minds, better understanding of the science and also being prepared to challenge traditional thinking, we'll for ever be cutting the corners off corned beef or doing perhaps unnecessary rests. I guess also that things like the BIAB revolution
would never have eventuated without all of that either, we also see much resistance to innovation today and while I've enormous respect for traditional craft, I feel there's a happy medium in there somewhere which acknowledges and retains tradition but recognises the modern world we live in- being involved as we are in a craft with strong traditional links confirms that for me. (
Oh sheet, think I got a bit carried away there philosophically- sorry about that... definitely speaking out my *rse then!
Just on the protein rest though, I'm willing to keep it to facilitate a single decoction in my low/no- specialty malt lagers, certainly not in ales though. A mashout decoction just isn't quite the same IMO, not the same effect at all and quite muted. The rest doesn't seem to have any negative effects with the lagers, using floor- malted Weyermann malt though (Bohemian Pilsner).