Too much information. It turns out that there is an awful lot of very detailed information out there, probably quite a bit of it written by men in Arran sweaters who know what sparging is without looking it up. Unfortunately, they often forget that some brewers have only just started, and wouldn't know a sparge if it climbed out of the barrel and bit them.
My uncle has been dead for some time, so I couldn't ask him.
Eventually, I realised that I was guilty of over-thinking the problem.
I decided to keep it simple, and brew a craft beer suitable for sharing with friends at a barbecue.
Please remember that I am not an expert brewer, and that this is not "the" way to brew beer. This is just documenting what I did for my first batch. If you follow my example, you should produce something drinkable, from which you can experiment to find a beer that is perfect for you.
I should also point out that I am brewing this in the UK. Here, we expect beer to have flavour. Proper beer does not need to be chilled to near freezing-point to be drinkable. If you think that beer is yellow, cold and fizzy, then you are about to embark on a learning experience that will result in you growing up a little as a beer drinker.
Beware: it is difficult to accurately know the strength of home-brewed ales - drink responsibly, and do not drive or operate dangerous machinery after even a single glass.