Welcome to Zach’s Labrewtory!! We wanted to share with everyone what some of Zach’s favorite brewing equipment, recipes and styles were.

With over 25 years of brewing experience he has a ton of information in knowledge. In an effort to share it with the world, Zach’s Labrewrtory was Born!

Oh, and that's Zach

He is a regular guest on Brew Talk with Mr. Beer, has mastered all aspects of brewing, from all grain to extract brewing, and is a regular in our Facebook Group. If you have called, emailed, or chatted with us you’ve had some kind of interaction with Zach and can appreciate the wealth of knowledge that he can drop.

The sole creator of the clone zone and our workout beers he has taken our recipes to new levels that blow away the snobbiest beer drinkers. Open up a cold one and let’s explore Zach’s Labrewtory, in the name of SCIENCE!

 

 

 

Gamayun Partial Mash

 

This was my first big hit at the office with Mr. Beer and it’s one of those recipes that reminds me of chilly winters in Vermont. The kind of place where you need that many calories just to survive the cold.

 

Egocentric Jerk

Workout IPA

This is my favorite clone recipe because it is about as close as a recipe can get to the original beer that inspired it. It’s another big beer that means to put you in your place.

The Workout IPA is a clone recipe of Lagunitas Daytime IPA. Light, crisp, and eminently crushable, this beer has low carb and low calories, but still tastes like a respectable IPA.

Workout Stout

Centennial Expolsion Hazy Double IPA

The Workout Stout is a surprisingly tasty brew that also is very low in carbs and calories. The Workout series in general is tasty and allows me to drink the styles I like without all those pesky carbs.

Centennial Explosion Hazy Double, when you're tired of soft and juicy and want to remember the way hops are supposed to taste, drop this bomb and enjoy.

 

 

 

Hydrometer or Tilt

Being able to accurately track where your recipes begin and know for sure when your recipes are done makes this a no-brainer for me. The Tilt is a sweet bit of kit that allows you to keep track of the gravity and temperature without the need for taking samples and risking the batch.

 

 

 

 

Pots

Where would you be without pots to boil your wort? Not homebrewing, that’s for sure. From making Mr. Beer in a small stock pot, to a 10-gallon stainless monster for those double batches of your favorite 5-gallon recipe, you need a pot that’s going to last and allow you to brew with style. Stainless is really the only way to go.

 

 

 

LBK

 

The LBK is a great starter fermenter, lightweight and inexpensive, having more than one is so easy. This will allow you to get more batches done in the same amount of time, but also conveniently is easy to store during down time.

 

 

 

12oz Glass Bottles 

 

These are great for those big beers (Gamayun, Lock Stock & Barrel, or even our cider kits) that need some quality time for aging. Not only that, but I think most beer drinkers are more accustom to popping a metal cap than a twist off plastic bottle.

 

 

 

Hand Capper

Can't have glass bottles without the capper. This handy and inexpensive guy will have you bottling beer like a pro. Lightweight, inexpensive, and not as hard on the hands as the old ones used to be, it's a great addition to any homebrewery.

 

 

 

 

Carbonation Drops

For when I’m not making a Maple Porter (or brown) then there is nothing simpler than these little gems. No more complicated calculations for batch priming, just fill your bottles and add your drops, done.

 

 

 

 

 

Beano

This tops my list, since this allowed me to create the low-carb magic of the Workout series. Also, since I’m on a low-carb diet, this helps keep me on track but allows me to still drink some tasty beers.

 

 

 

 

Maple Syrup

Since I’m from Vermont it still pumps through my veins, but it adds a great flavor if you replace your carbonation drops with it. (PS. It’s a one-for-one replacement, if you would use two carb drops, use 2 tsp of syrup.)

 

 

 

 

Yeast

A broad topic, but the impact of a proper yeast choice can go a long way towards making a good beer into a great one. This is dependent on personal taste, so explore and find the best yeasts for your beers by trying the same recipes with different types of yeasts, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

 

 

 

Grains

Of course, like yeast it’s a broad category, but we wouldn’t have beer without ‘em. Need your beer to be a little darker? Steep some chocolate malt for 30 minutes. Want bready, biscuity flavors? Just add some Vienna or Maris Otter for 30 minutes. The variety of malts is just as complex as hop characters.

 

 

 

Hops

 

Why is it last? You may ask. I’m a malt centric brewer, so I prefer UK style ales; rich Browns, roasty Porters, creamy Stouts, and punchy Barley wines. Hops are important and I do love a juicy, New England style brew or a clean bitter West Coast IPA from time to time, but often I choose malt forward beers.

 

 

 

Patience

Have fun!

Patience is a brewer's best attribute. Once that beer is in the fermenter or the bottle, leave it alone. Let those wonderful yeast do there thing in peace. It'll be worth it.

This is a hobby that you are supposed to enjoy, so play. Try weird things and experiment, bottle your porter with maple syrup or put some local fruit in pale for late summer enjoyment.

Read & Learn

Clean, Clean, Clean! 

Checkout useful blogs like ours, or Brulosophy.com and Craft Beer & Brewing for insights into what trends are making there way from brewery to home-brewer.

I know it's no fun, but washing up your fermenters and bottles right away saves tons of aggravation and work, once things dry on (or worse yet, get moldy) it's a lot less fun to clean.

Brew What You Enjoy

Socalize

Ignore the purists and make beer that you like. Sure extract brewing is easier, but isn't that a good thing? I love the fact that I don't need to spend 4-8 hours making a batch of all grain wort when I have the time to brew. If you can still make great beer, who really cares how you get there.

Get out to the pub and meet some folks, try some beers you've never heard of, maybe even chat with a brewer if you can. Nearly every one I meet likes talking about their favorite beers and how they're made, pick up some tips and tricks, try them out, and have some fun.