I get a kick out of reading how they used to brew. It makes me wonder if we get too involved with some of the process. I have always said the key to homebrewing is to make sure everything is clean first but still wonder how far is too far.
I have been known to go against the grain (pun intended) and think about what you prepare for dinner on plates that were just washed, not painstakingly sanitized. What would happen if we just washed and dried our fermenters and stuff then used them again next time just like your dinner plate?
Yes I understand there is a difference between eating that just BBQed steak off a plate and sweet wort in contact with the fermenter perhaps for months. I'm also not sure I want to risk five gallons of perfectly good beer for an experiment in cleanliness.