What is Sparging?
Sparging is the process of extracting the remaining wort from the mashed grains. Whether you have done a mash in a mash tun, or are a partial masher like myself, it is important to get as much of the wort as possible. Sparging extracts all of your fermentable sugars and flavor from the grains, ensuring it goes into your home brew that you worked so hard on!
How do we Sparge?
To sparge a partial mash, first heat up enough water (1.5 times the amount you used in steeping your grains, but be sure to not go over what your total water amount is) to 150-170 degrees Celsius. Once you have drained your wort from your grains (pouring the wort into your primary), pour the 150-170 degree water slowly over the grains. If you are doing a dark beer, you may need more sparging water as these malts can get thick! Once you have passed the sparging water through the grains, cool & pour into your primary.
In a Mash Tun:
Heat up one and a half times the amount of water you used for mashing to 170 degrees Celsius. Once you drain your wort from the grains in your mash tun, pour your water into the grains, ensuring not to splash around to much. finally, drain this water into the primary. This should bring you to your pre-boil volume. if not, heat up more water and repeat the process.
Once you have completed the sparging process, take the wort you have created and set it on the stove to boil (sanitize). At this point you can add your hops (If you are doing all grain or are not using a pre-hopped malt kit, I suggest boiling hops) for the desired length (Standard is 90 minutes). Once boiled, use your homemade wort chiller to cool down the wort to an appropriate temperature. Remember, once you have boiled the wort, anything that will touch it must be sanitized!
Good luck on your home brew adventure!