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What it does :
A wort chiller enables you to more effectively cool larger volumes of wort (e.g. greater than 3 gallons / 11.4 liters) to yeast-pitching temperatures.
What it is:
A wort chiller is a type of heat exchanger used to rapidly cool a large volume of hot wort.
How it works:
A chiller consists of coiled copper tubing, with fittings to attach a flexible tube at either end. The coil is lowered into the hot wort and cool water flows into one flexible tube, through the coil, and out the other flexible tube into a drain. The wort's heat is transferred through the copper into the flowing water, which then leaves the wort cooled. Counter flow designs use a tube-within-a-tube, where the inner tube contains the flow of hot wort and the outer tube contains the cooling water.
Wort chillers are used during the hot side of brewing (e.g. wort preparation), and come into direct contact with the hot wort. They should be kept clean for use. The initial contact with the recently boiling fluid should protect the wort from contamination.