Last night I joined my Boss at DejaBrew, an on-premise brewing place in Shrewsbury MA, to watch him and his friends brew a few batches of beer. Like many on-premise brewing places the brewing process is largely extract with specialty grains.
First thing I noticed is that even starchy grains like Aromatic and Rauchmalz get "steeped" in the full water volume while the water heats to 180F. No "proper" mash here but the beers don't seem to suffer from starch haze either. Looks like that even at the high water to grain ratio, that exist, the starches that make it into the water convert just fine.
They also pitch a single WL vial into 10 gal of cooled wort, even for lagers. The ales tasted fine and were enjoyable. The lagers were ok too, but did lack some of the flavors that I like in them. But none of the beers had off flavors that we commonly associate with under pitching.
Wort is aerated by shaking the heck out of the fermenters, which are plastic drums lined with plastic bags. I think that should be sufficient for the ales.
They used to have in-line aeration and propagated their own yeast, but got rid of it b/c they found that the additional work was not needed.