Frequently Asked Questions

PicoBrew Z

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the PicoBrew Z Series?
PicoBrew’s new Z Series is a modular set of all-grain brewing appliances that are professional grade, rated for continuous use. Z1 produces 2.5 gallons of beer, and each subsequent "Z module" increases output by 2.5-gallon increments, with the Z4 topping out at 10 gallons.
What can you make with a PicoBrew Z?
PicoBrew Z Series can brew all styles of beer and kombucha in quantities ranging from 1 to 10 gallons. The machines can also sous vide. The PicoStill distilling attachment works with the Z Series as well (PicoStill sold separately). [Homebrewers can use the PicoStill to distill essential oils from hops, botanicals and other citrus, and licensed professional distillers can take things a step further to make neutral spirits, whiskey, brandy, schnapps, and more.]
How can I pre-order a PicoBrew Z?
The only way to pre-order a Z is directly through our website picobrew.com/z starting February 13.
What are the voltage options for each Z model?
US/Canada nominal voltage for Z1 is 120V, and for Z2, Z3, Z4 is 240V
Europe nominal voltage for Z1 is 230V, and for Z2, Z3, Z4 is 400V
For Z1/Z2/Z3/Z4, you will be given the correct voltage version based on your shipping destination.
What do I need to know about shipping costs?
When you pre-order a Pico Z, you’ll be asked to pay a shipping deposit that will cover all or part of your shipping costs depending on your shipping destination. We are still working through shipping details and do not want to charge you extra before we have all the facts straight! We will charge or refund you the cost difference at the time when your order ships.
Why isn’t shipping included in the cost of the Pico Z?
Shipping costs, especially for large items like this, vary dramatically by location. It’s going to be cheaper for you if we handle this separately. If you are shipping outside of the US, it may cost significantly more.
Do I have to pay taxes, tariffs, and customs?
All taxes, fees, tariffs, and customs duties are the responsibility of the recipient. PicoBrew will collect sales tax where we are required to by law.
When will my Z ship?
The first Z1 units are currently expected to start shipping in Aug 2018. An order placed today is expected to ship in November 2018. We will update you on production information until you receive your unit.
Is pick-up at the Seattle office an option?
Unfortunately not. When your Z is ready, we will ship it directly from our fulfillment center so you will get it as quickly as possible.
What is the return/refund policy?
We have a no-questions-asked refund policy up until your order is fulfilled and ships out to you. Once you have received your unit, you are subject to our PicoBrew return policy and restocking fees.
When will my credit card be charged?
Your card will be charged immediately after you pre-order to hold your place in the queue.
What is included in the 5G ball-lock keg add-on?
The add-on includes a 5G ball-lock keg, keg seal, and red fast fermentation adapter.
If I pre-order the machine and kegs, can I get the kegs right away?
The kegs you order at this special discount price will ship with your new Z series machine. If you want kegs right away you can purchase them in BrewGear.
What’s the trade-in program?
The trade-in program allows current Zymatic owners to trade in their Zymatic for a $600 rebate on PicoBrew Z. When your Z is ready to ship, just ship back your Zymatic machine and step filter (you can keep all the other accessories!), and we’ll send you a $600 rebate.

For Zymatic customers in the contiguous US, we’ll provide a return shipping label. Customers outside of the contiguous US are responsible for return shipping costs. If the return shipping is a higher price than trade-in value, we will provide solutions to help you recycle your machine after the campaign ends.
I want to trade-in my Zymatic but can I keep it for now and use it while I wait for my new Z?
Yes, you should not return your Zymatic until you receive your return label (if appropriate) and notification from PicoBrew that your Z is shipping. You can continue to use it until then to make delicious craft beer.
How is Z different than Zymatic?
The Z is professional grade, built for continuous use, allowing it to be used in more commercial and residential settings. The Pico-Z’s modular design allows stacked “parallel brewing” approach – you can brew up to 10 gallons of the same beer in one session (with Z4), or multiple different beers at the same time. It’s built for even more flexible use: brew your own recipes, or even brews PicoPaks, allowing you to develop, publish and sell PicoPaks in the BrewMarketplace that much more easily. The Z introduces a new range of features and is built with modularity in mind so the machine and components are more easily serviceable for cleaning, troubleshooting, and repair. We’ve replaced the swingarm wort delivery approach with a pinch valve fluid routing system, similar to our Pico line of brewing systems. We also improved the heat loop by using a pressurized water system, and redesigned the step filter with improved tooling to minimize stress fractures and leak potential. The Z is also field-serviceable – all of the pumps are now located in the top of the unit, rather than in the bottom. And yes, we’re revamping the customer recipe crafter!
Why should I pre-order the Z instead of buying the Zymatic today?
The Z is PicoBrew’s newest flagship professional grade product. Don’t you deserve the best?
How much beer can Z produce?
Z1 can produce up to 2.5 gallons of beer.
Z2 can produce up to 5 gallons of beer.
Z3 can produce up to 7.5 gallons of beer.
Z4 can produce up to 10 gallons of beer.
These volumes are approximate since beer yield can vary based on the style and ingredients.
What’s the whole process from grain to glass?
Decide what you want to brew (select, import, or create your own recipe), and, after adjusting the recipe to your liking or leaving as-is, load the ingredients, fill a keg with the specified amount of water, and turn on the Z. Let the machine synchronize to the Internet in order to load your recipe. Select your recipe and start brewing!

While it brews, the Z logs brewing session data to the Internet so you can keep track of it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

At the end of the brew cycle, chill the beer or disconnect the keg to cool, and then, pitch (add) yeast, attach an airlock, and place it somewhere cool to ferment.

Remove the step filter, dump the waste into your compost bin, and run a rinse cycle on the machine to keep it clean for the next brew. Every few batches you’ll want to run a full cleaning cycle, which is as simple as attaching a keg of water and adding a dishwasher tab. This deep clean takes longer but is an unattended process just like the brew cycle.
Wait for nature to work its magic with the fermenting beer. This can take anywhere from 7 days to 3 weeks, depending on the beer style you have brewed, fermentation temperatures, and a number of other factors.

Transfer your beer from the fermenting keg to a clean serving keg, carbonate, and put it on tap in your refrigerator, kegerator, or bottle as you prefer.
How do I develop recipes for the PicoBrew Z, will it use the Zymatic Recipe Crafter?
The PicoBrew Z will benefit from a new BrewCrafter recipe tool currently in development.
How long is the brew time for Z?
We are still testing, but it will average between 3.5-4 hours.
Will the PicoBrew Z be able to brew Pico PicoPaks?
Yes, the PicoBrew Z will be the ultimate development machine for developing PicoPak recipes for our Pico Brewers Network program.
Is the rack included with Z2-Z4?
Z3 and Z4 which will ship with rack mount hardware, similar to rack-mount ears on audio racks.?Racks are not included because each installation may be different. Adapter kits will be available to rack mount Z2.
Can Z2 through Z4 brew different recipes in each compartment at the same time?
Yes, each compartment can brew different beers at the same time ( Z2 can brew two, Z3 can brew three, Z4 can brew four).
What breakers and wiring for Z1 through Z4 do I need in the United States?
Z1 - 15/20 Amp breaker, 120V (standard US home)
Z2 - 20 Amp breaker is enough, 240V (NEMA L14-30 locking 4-prong plug)
Z3 - 30 Amp breaker, 240V (NEMA L14-30 locking 4-prong plug)
Z4 - 30 Amp breaker, 240V (NEMA L14-30 locking 4-prong plug)

Pro tip: If you need a new electrical circuit, installing a 30 Amp breaker supports all Z Series configurations as well as other 240V applications like a clothes dryer.