Sparging is a step at the end of the lautering process to extract much of the remaining sugars from brewing grains by adding additional hot water to the mash.
Homebrewers typically practice one of two methods of sparging:
- Batch sparging, or English-style sparging, involves completely draining the lauter tun of wort, leaving the grainbed behind. A batch of hot sparge water is introduced into the tun, stirred, and drained as well.
- Fly sparging, or German-style sparging, involves introducing hot water into the mash tun at the same rate as wort runoff. Fly sparging must be conducted very slowly to avoid compacting the grainbed. Fly sparging, if done properly, typically extracts more sugars from the grain than batch sparging.