This also makes me wonder...do commercial breweries condition their malt too? And why take the extra step when good beer can be made without doing it?
Some do, some don't. Mills with conditioning are more expensive and as a result it is not very attractive for small breweries. Some large breweries don't want to deal with water in the malt house.
In a German brewing trade magazine I found this statement: "In principle all mills which deliver a grist used in a lauter tun are equipped with a malt conditioning unit" (Brauindustrie
). Based on that statement I think the majority of medium and large German breweries are using malt conditioning. Their motivation is improved flow during lautering. In a modern brewhouse running a modern mashing schedule lautering is with about 1.5 hrs the longest step and therefore determines how many batches can be brewed in one day. As a result shortening lauter times is very important.
But Denny brings up a good point. Once you have tried malt conditioning a few times be critical and check if it makes your beer better and/or if it makes brewing more enjoyable for you. In the end, these are the two things we care about. I do it because it allows me to crush finer and keep the lauter flowing at a reasonable rate. But I also have a manifold that easily can easily be overwhelmed by too much grist. And the quality of the grist makes me feel better about my milling.