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Commercial fridge turned ferment and cooler combo

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501irishred

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This is a True GDM-52 that I’ve turned the bottom half into a fermentation chamber, while leaving the top as cold storage and a place to carb kegs. @Jbrown57 is about to do a build on a GDM 72 (72cu ft!!) and asked about my build, so I figured I’d post some pics here instead of hijacking his thread with a bunch of pics. Can't wait to see what all he does with that beast!
Ive been using this in one form or another for about 8 years and it works beautifully. So for the electricians out there, your welcome to comment, but just know that I already know, lol...... A lot of the connections and wire selection was initially for testing concepts only, then the damn thing worked...... I'm quite sure I'll find a "round to it" one day and make it safe too.....o_O


I bypassed the OEM temp control and am using a ITC-1000 (started with STC-1000's but my redneck got the better of me and now I don't have to concern myself with all that Celsius nonsense...) The right one controls the refrigeration for the top side, and the left controls the bottom fermentation area.

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I'm simply using the units shelving to support the foam insulation, then sandwich a second shelf on top to support the weight of the kegs etc..
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Controlling temp in the bottom is simply done by pulling air from the top section with a small fan to cool and a small heater. The cooling fan opens a barometric damper when on and damper closes when off to keep cold air somewhat at bay when the controller is not calling. There is not a dedicated return installed, but the foam does not seal so tight as to create a positive pressure situation.
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I painted the outside of the glass doors black and used some reflectix insulation on the inside. This serves a multi role: 1) Keeps light off of carboys. 2)Adds a little insulation. Cant hurt... 3) Keeps prying teenager eyes off the contents.
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501irishred

501irishred

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I use contactor's to run the main refrigeration as it's a little beefy for the relay in the ITC. I'm using one for the heater as well, although the controller would have run it with no problems. The transformer is used only because I had 24v coil contactors handy.

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