Foam on Tap

Foam on Tap
Photos Provided by Grassroots Tap Trailers
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Spray Foam Magazine – The bond between brothers-in-law can be a unique and special one, often stemming from a shared love of family, adventure, and creativity. For two such brothers-in-law, their passion for turning ordinary objects into something extraordinary led them to embark on a unique project that would ultimately combine their skills and talents in unexpected ways. Using spray foam insulation and a healthy dose of ingenuity, these two men converted an ordinary trailer into a mobile tap trailer, capable of serving up ice-cold beer and other beverages at events and parties. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the process behind this impressive transformation, the challenges they faced, and the lessons they learned along the way.

Grassroots Tap Trailers was founded by Michael Moody, Zach Fritsche, Lamar Lawrence, Matthew Folds and Michael Cookand, a group of drinking buddies who sought to combine their love of beer and desire to work together. The company’s first tap trailer, dubbed the Pistachio, was initially a retro Sprite camper that underwent a complete overhaul by the team in late 2019. However, with the onset of the pandemic, the group had ample time to focus on their second tap trailer, which has a different feel as it originated from the truck bed of a 1948 Ford. Known as the ’48, this trailer is a hit among customers, boasting up to six taps at any given time.

The preparation was minimal and focused primarily on sealing up gaps and holes to ensure a smooth and consistent application of foam. Before the insulation was installed, they first taped up any electrical work to protect it from the foam. They then used Handi Foam to seal up any gaps or holes in the vehicle’s structure, which helped to create a solid foundation for the insulation.

In addition to sealing up gaps and holes, the Handi Foam also served another purpose. By filling in areas where tubing and wires were located, the foam helped to hold these components in place, providing additional support and stability.

Overall, the preparation process for the mobile tap trailer was relatively straightforward, with a focus on creating a smooth and stable surface for the spray foam. With the proper preparation and attention to detail, they were able to achieve impressive results and create a functional and unique mobile tap trailer.

Achieving an airtight seal was a top priority. By using spray foam to fill in any gaps or holes in the vehicle’s structure, Zach and Michael were able to create an airtight seal that helped to prevent any warm air from entering the trailer. This seal was particularly important because they used window AC units with a coolbot device to maintain a temperature of around 37 degrees Fahrenheit in the keg storage area. The coolbot device allowed them to bypass the thermostat in the AC unit, which allowed the temperature to drop down to 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to providing consistent temperature control when electricity is available, the spray foam also provided benefits when electricity was not available. By icing down the kegs, the insulation helped to maintain the desired temperature for a couple of days, even without access to electricity.

Choosing the right type of spray foam is crucial for achieving the desired level of insulation and ensuring the longevity of the project. Zach and Michael used closed-cell foam in both tap trailers. You get a much higher R-Value per inch. Also, it’s a moisture barrier so it helps with the condensation build up on the outside of the trailer.

TOP: By using NCFI’s 1.7lb hybrid closed-cell foam, the team was able to easily scarf off areas where plywood would need to be applied; BOTTOM: Spray foam helped seal the trailer so that the temperature could be maintained in the keg storage area.

They opted for NCFI’s 1.7lb hybrid closed-cell foam. What sets this foam apart is its unique hybrid closed-cell structure, which allows it to be easily sanded or “scarfed off” in areas where plywood needs to be applied during the finishing stage of the build-out.

This versatility was particularly important, as they needed to be able to apply plywood to certain areas in order to complete the build-out. With the NCFI 1.7lb hybrid closed-cell foam, they were able to achieve the desired level of insulation without sacrificing the ability to add finishing touches to the interior of the vehicle.

When it comes to spray foam insulation, having the right equipment can make all the difference. For Zach and Michael, their secret weapon was the PMC PH-2 proportioner. This powerful machine, which is commonly used in professional insulation applications, allowed them to mix and apply the spray foam with precision and efficiency.

The tap trailer is used at events and parties. The spray foam insulation installed in the interior allows the beer to stay cold enough even in the hot Georgia summers.

“We have very hot summers here in Georgia and a lot of events we cater to won’t have shade. Even with 100 degree temperature and the sun beating down we are able to hover around the ideal temperature of 37 degrees for kegs. We are able to use the trailers as refrigeration. It’s been very beneficial storing ice, bottled drinks, flowers for weddings and even ice cream.”

To provide the necessary insulation, Zach and Michael sprayed two inches in the walls and floor, and three and a half inches in the ceiling. This amount of foam ensured that the tap trailer would be well-insulated and able to maintain a consistent temperature, even in hot or cold weather.

Safety was also a top priority and they took all necessary precautions when working with the spray foam. They wore full face masks with head socks, gloves, and full body suits to protect themselves from exposure to the foam and any potential health hazards.

As for the finishing touches, they opted for a simple but effective solution. Instead of applying a coating to the foam, they used black spray paint to cover up any exposed areas, giving the tap trailer a sleek and professional look.

Thanks to Michael, Zach and their crew’s innovative spirit and expertise, beer enthusiasts everywhere can now enjoy their favorite brews on the go, all while appreciating the value of spray foam insulation in ensuring that the beer stays fresh and the party keeps rolling.  

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