Sparging is the home brewing process of flushing the mash grain bed with very hot water, typically 168F – 175F in order to extract any remaining sugars from your grains after you have began draining the wort from your mash tun to your brewing kettle. There are a few common sparging methods used by home brewers.
Fly sparging is one of the most commonly used methods of sparging. Fly sparging is a technique where a home brewer uses a sparge arm to pour or spary hot water over the grain bed while at the same time transferring the wort to the boil kettle at a similar rate. As the hot water flows through the grain bed it gently flushes the sugar from the grain husks.
Another commonly used home beer brewing sparge method is batch sparging where a home brewer adds batches of hot water to the mash tun and then drains the mash tun completely before refilling it with additional water. Once the additional water has been added the brewer mixes the grains with a mash paddle for a few minutes to help extract the sugar from the grains. With each subsequent batch, less sugar will be extracted from the grains. The batching process is repeated until a sufficient amount of wort has been collected for the boiling process.
I personally use and have had great success with the fly sparging process, but the batch sparging method is also very efficient. If you are in the market for a high quality stainless steel sparge arm, I highly recommend More Beers ultimate sparge arm. That and a variety of other sparge arms can be found here:
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