Focusing on the poll results specifically, its really no surprise that good sanitation practices is considered such a critical element for homebrewers. Without the ability to control microbe populations in and around our beer, the resulting beer would be a crapshoot - a completely random beverage that would be more times undrinkable than drinkable. For begining homebrewers, learning to properly sanitize equipment and how to handle the wort on the cold-side is the first step in producing repeatable results. But sanitation is certainly not something just for beginers to consider. It is a concept that everyone should strive to improve. If you've been brewing for years and have a set process, ask yourself "how can I improve my brewing sanitation?". Where is the most likely place an infection might jump into my beer? Continuous improvement should be the mantra homebrewers adopt - make small improvments whenever you can and your brewing will continue to improve right along side.
We will likely return to this topic in future polls, so let us know what you think. And if you are reading this, our next blog poll is up and awaying your participation.
"What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?
-W. C. Fields