West Coast Brewer Home Brewing Blog

Tag: lautering

Home Brewing Sparging

Batch Sparging



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:

Click Here for Sparge Arms




Lautering is a brewing process where hot water (typically heated to 168-170° F) is used to flush the sugars from the crushed grains after the mash has completed. Once flushed from the grains, the hot water and sugars are then transferred from the mash tun or lauter tun.

lauter tun

A lauter tun is a brewing vessel used by large scale breweries. After the mash has completed, the grains are transferred to the lauter tun where the converted sugars can be thoroughly extracted from the grains. The lauter tun has rotating arms with cutting blades that rake the mashed grains. Hot water is sprayed upon the grains to flush the sugar though a false bottom at the base of the lauter tun.

RIMS or Recirculating Infusion Mash System

RIMS or recirculating infusion mash system is a mash infusion system that either utilizes a pump to recirculate the fluid in the mash over a secondary heat source (outside of the mash tun) to maintain the mash temperature, or constantly recirculates the mash onto itself while direct heat is applied to the mash tun to regulate the temperature. The fluid is pumped at a rapid enough pace to keep the temperature of the mash at an equilibrium and prevents the wort from being scorched or overheated.

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