When you get to an empty keg or cask, your tap starts to spit and spray foam. On long draw beer line runs this can mean that every time you change a cask or keg you will waste over 3 pints of beer. Three pints doesn’t sound a lot, but at, say, £3.50 a pint, that is costing you £10.50 in lost sales every time you change a cask. Obviously, it depends on the length of your beer line, but it could work out at even more.
This is why you need FOB detectors. FOB is Foam On Beer or Froth On Beer – whichever you choose – and a FOB detector will save you all that waste. When you have a FOB installed, your cask shuts down without any foaming when it hits empty, and when you tap a new one your tap will immediately dispense beer. That means that there is no waste of beer, and equally important, no downtime for your customer while you change over because he can get his next pint almost instantly. Furthermore, you save on labour costs because you don’t need an employee cleaning up the cooler when a blown empty barrel has made a mess.
So how does a FOB detector work? The beer flows through the beer line and the FOB detector lifts a float ball to the top of the froth on the beer detector chamber. As the barrel starts to empty, the beer flow is lighter and the float ball drops inside the chamber. This leads to a seal being immediately placed on the FOB outlet port and eliminates the loss of beer by cutting the flow off into the beer line when the barrel empties. When you tap the new barrel you immediately get beer at the tap instead of foam.
Of course, in the same way that beer lines are cleaned, the FOB detector will need cleaning regularly also. It is recommended that a FOB detector should be disassembled every three months and cleaned using a commercial beer line cleaner. However, a beer line cleaner, while it is effective for cleaning up organic waste in the FOB detector, is not so great when it comes to cleaning off any minerals which may have accumulated. This means that you will also need to use an acid beer line cleaner when you clean the FOB detector. This will easily remove beer stones and any other mineral deposits.
The quality and taste of your beer is obviously important for your reputation and continued profitability, so if you have a cleaning company cleaning your beer lines it is necessary to ensure that they clean the FOB detectors at the same time.