Frequently Asked Questions

PicoBrew Z

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the PicoBrew Z Series?
The Z Series is PicoBrew’s first professional-grade brewing appliance line targeted at restaurants, bars, brewpubs and craft breweries interested in producing small batches of custom craft beers, kombucha, cold brew coffee and spirits. It is also ideal for avid homebrewers looking for larger batch sizes and greater brewing precision. The Z Series gives brewers the capability to produce between 2.5 to 10 gallons of craft beer at a time in as little as four hours. Similarly, the Z series can produce 4 to 16 gallons of cold brew coffee at a time in as little as 90 minutes.
What can you make with a PicoBrew Z?
PicoBrew Z Series can brew many different brewed beverages. Including all styles of beer in quantities ranging from 1 to 10 gallons, and additionally cold brew coffee and kombucha. The machines can also sous vide your favorite recipes. 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.]
What are the voltage options for each Z model?
US/Canada nominal voltage for Z1 is 120V, and for Z2, Z4 is 240V
Europe nominal voltage for Z1 is 230V, and for Z2, Z4 is 400V
For Z1/Z2 /Z4, you will be given the correct voltage version based on your shipping destination.
What do I need to know about shipping costs?
Purchasing and shipping any Z within the continental US will qualify for free shipping. Outside of the continental US shipping costs are usually $99 per Z slice based on the most common international destinations. For your specific destination, you can validate your shipping costs during the checkout process before final payment.
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?
An order placed today typically ships within days of receiving the order.
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 upon ordering.
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.
How is Z different than Zymatic?
The PicoBrew Z Series is professional grade, built for continuous use, allowing it to be used in both commercial and residential settings. The PicoBrew 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. You can brew your own recipes, or brew PicoPaks, allowing you to develop, publish and sell your own PicoPaks in the BrewMarketplace much more easily. The PicoBrew Z series also 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 we have made significant updates to the recipe crafter!
How much beer can Z produce?
Z1 can produce up to 2.5 gallons of beer or 4.0 gallons of coffee.
Z2 can produce up to 5 gallons of beer or 8.0 gallons of coffee.
Z4 can produce up to 10 gallons of beer or 16.0 gallons of coffee.
These volumes are approximate since final yield can vary based on the style, ingredients and grind.
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.

The PicoBrew Z series features a heat sterilized fully enclosed brewing system which eliminates the need for additional active cooling hardware to chill the wort.
How do I develop recipes for the PicoBrew Z, will it use the Zymatic Recipe Crafter?
Go to the all-new BrewCrafter recipe online tool located under “Recipes”.
How long is the brew time for Z?
Brew time for beer will average between 3.5-4 hours; for cold brewed coffee it is 1.5 hours.
Does the PicoBrew Z brew PicoPaks?
Yes, you can brew PicoPaks. Additionally, the PicoBrew Z is the ultimate development machine for developing PicoPak recipes for the Pico Brewers Network program.
Is the rack included with the Z4?
Z4 ships with rack mount hardware, similar to rack-mount ears on audio racks. Racks are not included since each installation may be different.
Can Z2 and 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, 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 - Z4: Dedicated 4-wire 240V / 30A circuit (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.
How do I stack or rack mount my Z2-Z4?
Please refer to https://picobrew.com/pr/ZSeriesSetup. for instructions.
What are the electrical requirements for a 220V Z (International) unit?
Each 220V Z brewing module (or “slice”) requires 220-240VAC with a supply current of at least 7.5A. For example, the Z1 (1 slice) requires 220-240V @ 7.5A while a Z2 (2 slices) requires 220-240V @ 15A, etc. Each 220V Z slice includes a Type-F plug (EU/Schuko) and Type-G plug (UK) power cord. Please follow your applicable country and local electrical codes when installing and using your Z series system.