FOB's when changing to a different beer

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by CBOLAND17, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. CBOLAND17

    CBOLAND17 Disciple (302) Sep 19, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    So I see why FOB devices are great and useful to maximize profit for bars with long draw systems.

    That being said, when a keg of Beer A kicks, the FOB prevents the foam from flowing through the line and then you want to put Beer B on that line next wouldn't you just end up with a flow of first Beer A and then Beer B right after that? Like wouldn't they kind of mix together? Obviously if you're putting on a keg of the same beer it makes total sense but I am just confused at how this would work when you're putting on a different beer next.

    I am studying for my Cicerone exam and just want to be clear on this one. If someone could clarify that would be great, thanks!
  2. DougC123

    DougC123 Devotee (477) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

  3. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (311) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Beer remaining in the line will be pushed by the next tapped keg. You can calculate the amount of beer in the line fairly accurately if you know the length of the line, but it is just as easy to pull a pint, or 2, or 3. And when the color changes you have the next beer. There is also a bit of foam and blowing beer but nothing like when a keg empties without a FOB. A good bartender or owner can maximize profits by selling every last ounce of the keg. The beers are only mixed where the meet in the line, say an ounce or 2. Roughly.

    In practice this almost never happens. Someone asks for a pint, the glass get some beer and then the flow stops. If the new keg is the same it is not a big deal to immediately tap the keg and finish the pour. But someone has to be available that instant to get to the cold room, and the patron has to wait 3 minutes. Which is an eternity. So the half glass is dumped or sometimes just provided gratis. And a new keg is tapped as soon as possible. Usually.

    Anyone with a system over 30 feet should have FOBs. Over 50' and they are pretty much required. The amount of profit generated on 10 lines, over 50 feet, over dozens and hundreds of kegs is simply staggering. The profit realized is immediately noticed and with really jumbo systems it is nothing less than revolutionary.
    IceAce, CBOLAND17 and PortLargo like this.
  4. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (471) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    One of my greatest joys is seeing a keg kick whilst pouring my order . . . free beer today!
  5. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (859) Jan 8, 2004 California

    Thanks for the shout-out Doug.

    You are correct that FOBs work well with long draw systems...but they are mainly used in instances where the account does not change the brand/style of beer being poured.

    If a bar wishes to change the brand/style of beer, their best option (once the fob has activated due to an empty keg) is to switch the fob over to cleaning mode. This will allow them to fully drain the line of the existing beer...and hopefully they also take the opportunity of an empty line to clean it once all of the beer is served.

    Some long draw systems (Like Yard House out here in California) will hold as much as a 1.5 gallons of beer.
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