You have decided to brew your own beer. Good for you! Screw the man, make your own! Ok, you'll need some basic equipment that most LHBS will carry. But you're a hands on kind of guy/gal. You want to make your own equipment. Good for you again!
First off - a wort chiller.
<P>Materials needed: Copper refrigeration tubing, vinyl tubing, hose clamps, hose adapters for your sink.
<P>Decide on how big a wort chiller you'll need. If you brew 15 gal. batches like me, you'll need to up-size your tubing accordingly. A good guide for tubing length needed is as follows: 5 gal batches will need 25' of 3/8" OD copper tubing. OD is outside diameter. It is sold as refer tubing; places like Lowes & Home Depot will carry it in the plumbing isle. It comes in coils, inside boxes.
<P>10 gal. batches will require 50' of 3/8" OD tubing. Or, you can step it up to 1/2" tubing, in which case you'll only need about 30'. 15 gal batches & up will require 50' to 100' of 1/2" OD copper tubing, depending on batch size. Personally, I use 60' of 1/2" OD copper tubing for my 15 gal batches, and it works just fine. I also have a 50' coil of 3/8" OD copper tubing made up for my smaller batches.
<P>Ok, enough about size & length. How do you make it, you might ask? Fair enough.
<P>Here goes: Take a clean corny keg, or a really stiff bucket, and begin winding the copper tubing around it, starting at the bottom of the keg. Slowly form the tubing to the shape of whatever you're using. Note: a corny keg is the perfect size for winding a coil. When you have wound the copper almost to the end, ease a 90° bend on both ends, to accept the hose. When you have finished coiling the copper tubing, pull it off the corny keg or bucket. Slide the tubing onto the copper coil,
and secure it with the hose clamps. Now, for the other end. You'll have to see what fittings exactly you'll need to connect the wort chiller to your sink, and place them on the other end of the tubing, again, using hose clamps.
<P>Congratulations! You've just made your first homebrewing gadget, and you've saved a ton of money as well.
For pictures of this project, seehttp://www.morebeer.com. Click on wort chillers, & you'll see some pictures of what I just described.
Your comments gave me an idea. Using the 50’ lenght of 1/2" tubing that I have, create a wort chiller with 30 feet of it and a pre-chiller with the left over 20 feet. I live in Florida and the supply water temps are often in the 70s or 80s. A pre-chiller might be just what I need.