Why is the Zombie Dust so popular?

Unraveling the Popularity of Zombie Dust

“For those immersed in the world of craft beer and homebrewing, ‘Zombie Dust’ from Three Floyds Brewing in Indiana, USA, likely needs no introduction. It’s more than just a beer; it’s a phenomenon. Particularly among homebrewers, ‘Zombie Dust’ has become a rite of passage – often replicated in homebrew setups across the globe. It’s likely found a spot on your ‘brewing bucket list,’ that compilation of must-brew beers that every passionate brewer dreams of crafting.

But what fuels the remarkable hype around Three Floyds’ ‘Zombie Dust’? If you’re among the lucky ones who’ve tasted this iconic brew, you might already have some theories. Central to its allure is the use of Citra hops, a true superstar in the hop world. ‘Zombie Dust’ isn’t just a beer; it’s a harmonious blend of a trendy single hop variety with a catchy, zeitgeisty name that perfectly captures the ongoing fascination with zombie culture. It’s this unique combination that has elevated ‘Zombie Dust’ to its cult status in the craft beer community.


two homebrewing recipes for the Zombie Dust Clone further down on the page. One partial mash from the live stream video and an all-grain recipe.

What Exactly is ‘Zombie Dust’?

“‘Zombie Dust’ is not just any beer; it’s a standout American Pale Ale crafted by the renowned Three Floyds Brewing. Boasting an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of 6.2% and an IBU (International Bitterness Units) of 50, it strikes a balance between strength and bitterness. As highlighted on the Three Floyds Brewing website, ‘Zombie Dust’ distinguishes itself by being a single-hop beer, exclusively using Citra hops.

Citra hops, as you might agree, have a massive fan following, and for good reason. However, it’s important to acknowledge that every hop variety, including Citra, has its unique characteristics that might not appeal to everyone. It’s perfectly fine if you’re not a fan of certain popular hops like Citra or Mosaic. Personally, while I adore Citra for its vibrant flavor profile, I find Mosaic a bit too prevalent in the craft beer scene. Its distinctive ‘spare tire’ taste and aroma, though enjoyable in moderation, can sometimes feel overwhelming.

The Role of Community in Elevating 'Zombie Dust

The widespread popularity of ‘Zombie Dust’ within the homebrewing community, as well as its prominence across various online platforms like YouTube, Facebook groups, Instagram, and homebrewing forums, can largely be attributed to a dedicated group of enthusiasts. It’s a testament to how a small, passionate segment of homebrewers can influence and amplify a beer’s reputation on a global scale.

These devoted homebrewers, through their relentless experimentation, sharing of clone recipes, and discussion of brewing techniques, have turned ‘Zombie Dust’ into a phenomenon. Their enthusiasm not only highlights the beer’s appeal but also showcases the power of community and shared passion in the craft beer world. This collective obsession has helped propel ‘Zombie Dust’ from a regional favorite to an internationally recognized and sought-after brew.

My Brewing Experience with Citra Hops and ‘Zombie Dust’ Clone

“The first time I ventured into brewing with Citra hops was while attempting a ‘Zombie Dust’ Clone. This experience introduced me to the potent and distinct side notes of Citra. Initially, I was perplexed, thinking something had gone awry in the brewing process. I even suspected the Melanoidin malt, another first-time ingredient for me in this recipe, to be the culprit. However, I later realized that the unique profile I detected was characteristic of the Citra hops, a flavor I have since come to appreciate, though it was an acquired taste.

As the beer aged, that intense Citra note gradually mellowed, a fascinating evolution to observe. But that’s a story for another blog or video, perhaps focusing on how flavors develop over time in homebrewed beer.

The ‘Zombie Dust’ Malt Bill and the APA vs. IPA Debate

Delving into the malt bill of ‘Zombie Dust,’ it’s a bit more intricate, featuring sweet and caramel notes. This complexity often prompts the question: why isn’t ‘Zombie Dust’ classified as an IPA? In my view, an IPA tends to emphasize hops more prominently, whereas an APA, like ‘Zombie Dust,’ offers a balanced interplay between the caramel tones from the crystal malt and the hop flavors. This balance is what defines it as an APA, a categorization also endorsed by Three Floyds Brewing. So, in the debate of APA vs. IPA for ‘Zombie Dust,’ I concur with the brewery’s classification.

Deciphering the Allure of ‘Zombie Dust’

“Why has ‘Zombie Dust’ captured the imagination of so many homebrewers? What makes this particular beer a must-try or must-brew in the homebrewing community? Before diving into homebrewing myself and engaging with the vibrant community of BrewTubers and beer forums, I was unaware of both ‘Zombie Dust’ and Three Floyds Brewing. Yet, this beer has achieved an almost legendary status, similar to other celebrated recipes like ‘Supercharger.’

The Citra Hops Factor

One aspect of ‘Zombie Dust’ that undoubtedly contributes to its allure is the use of Citra hops. Known for their powerful and distinctive flavor, Citra hops are a key ingredient that adds a ‘wow’ factor to this brew. It’s the intricate dance of flavors that Citra brings to the table that helps set ‘Zombie Dust’ apart from the crowd.

The Power of a Name

Then, there’s the name – ‘Zombie Dust.’ It’s catchy, intriguing, and undeniably cool. Who wouldn’t be curious to try a beer with such a compelling title? The name itself is a conversation starter and adds to the mystique surrounding this celebrated ale.

In sum, ‘Zombie Dust’ is more than just a beer; it’s a phenomenon driven by a unique combination of flavor, branding, and community buzz. It raises an interesting question: Is ‘Zombie Dust’ a beer that everyone needs to brew or taste at least once? For many in the homebrewing world, the answer is a resounding yes.

Tracing the Rise of ‘Zombie Dust’ to a Few Passionate Homebrewers

“The widespread appeal of cloning ‘Zombie Dust’ in the homebrewing community, I believe, can be attributed to the enthusiasm of a handful of influential BrewTubers. Take, for instance, the channel GIFRYER, which I follow. The channel’s host embarked on a journey of crafting numerous ‘Zombie Dust’ clones, driven by the inability to purchase the actual beer. I recently watched one of his videos – a sort of farewell to this pursuit. After years of replicating ‘Zombie Dust,’ he finally tasted the original, and interestingly, this seemed to mark the end of his specific brewing quest. The obsession didn’t fade due to a lack of enjoyment but perhaps because finally experiencing the real deal changed his perspective. I’m hopeful he’ll return to BrewTubing, perhaps with a new elusive beer to chase.

A Community-Wide Fascination

GIFRYER is not alone in this obsession. Numerous BrewTubers and homebrewers have embarked on similar quests to replicate the famed ‘Zombie Dust.’ This collective fascination has played a significant role in amplifying the beer’s fame within the homebrewing community.

Join the Conversation

Have you brewed or tried the original ‘Zombie Dust,’ or even a clone? I’d love to hear about it. Drop a comment below with your location – let’s map out how far and wide the ‘Zombie Dust’ hype has spread globally. Also, if you have any theories or insights on why ‘Zombie Dust’ has captured the hearts of so many, feel free to share your thoughts. Your input could shed more light on the enigma that is ‘Zombie Dust.

Three Floyds tap at there brewpub in Munster

Zombie Dust’ is a creation of Three Floyds Brewing, a brewery with a rich and interesting history. Founded in 1996 in Hammond, Indiana, by brothers Nick and Simon, along with their father Mike Floyd, the brewery has carved out a significant place in the craft beer world. In 2000, they moved to Munster, Indiana, where they continue to brew and innovate.

This move marked a new chapter for the brewery, enabling them to expand their production and experiment with bold flavors, leading to iconic creations like ‘Zombie Dust.’ Over the years, Three Floyds has not only contributed to the craft beer revolution but also developed a cult following, with ‘Zombie Dust’ often hailed as a flagship example of their brewing prowess.

The Homebrewers Behind the ‘Zombie Dust’ Phenomenon

“In a recent live stream, I had the unique opportunity to sample a partial mash version of the ‘Zombie Dust’ Clone. This experience led to an interesting discussion about other BrewTubers who have contributed to the popularity of the ‘Zombie Dust’ Clone within the homebrewing community. The recipe for this partial mash clone, along with an all-grain variant, can be found at the end of this blog post.

Editing for a Better Viewing Experience

During the live stream, several notable names in the BrewTubing world were mentioned in the chat as key influencers in the ‘Zombie Dust’ Clone hype. However, to make the live stream more accessible for later viewing, I edited out the beginning, which might have included these shoutouts. This edit was necessary to streamline the content, focusing viewers directly on the live beer review of the ‘Zombie Dust’ Clone – after all, experiencing it live is one thing, but watching a replay is another, and I wanted to ensure it was engaging.

An Invitation to Join the Conversation

Were you a part of that live stream or have you brewed your own ‘Zombie Dust’ Clone? I’d love to hear more about your experiences and thoughts on this iconic beer. Share your stories and let’s continue to celebrate the legacy and influence of ‘Zombie Dust’ in the homebrewing community.

My Quest for the Authentic ‘Zombie Dust’ Experience

“While I’ve brewed several ‘Zombie Dust’ Clones, the original brew from Three Floyds Brewing still remains an untasted enigma for me. Residing in Sweden, I’m inclined to believe that if ‘Zombie Dust’ ever did make its way here, it might lose that fresh magic that defines its essence. It’s a beer renowned for its immediacy, best enjoyed in its freshest form.

Dreaming of a Brewery Visit

Imagining the ideal scenario, a visit to the Three Floyds Brewing brewpub in Munster, Indiana, which opened its doors in 2005, seems like a pilgrimage worth undertaking. To taste ‘Zombie Dust’ and other Three Floyds creations straight from the source would be a dream come true. This desire echoes my previous adventure in Cologne, Germany, where I immersed myself in the world of Kölsch beer. There, I explored various breweries and brewpubs, sampling as many Kölsch varieties as I could.

Link to my travel video to Cologne to learn about Kölsch–>

A Future Dive Back into Kölsch

Reflecting on this, I realize it’s time to revisit the topic of Kölsch, either in a new video or a future blog post. The world of beer is vast and full of stories, and I’m eager to continue exploring and sharing these experiences with you.

My Journey Through ‘Zombie Dust’ Clones

While the original ‘Zombie Dust’ from Three Floyds Brewing remains elusive, I’ve had the pleasure of trying three different ‘Zombie Dust’ clones, thanks to the generosity of fellow homebrewers. These kind brewers sent me their versions to review on my YouTube channel, allowing me to taste their interpretations of this iconic beer.

Brewing My Own Inspired Variants

In addition to tasting others’ creations, I’ve ventured into brewing two beers inspired by the ‘Zombie Dust’ clone recipe myself. I chose to tweak the recipes slightly, aiming for a lower ABV to create more sessionable beers. After all, with a keg full of something as delicious as a ‘Zombie Dust’ inspired brew, it’s hard to stop at just one without feeling a bit dizzy, right? My goal was to capture the essence of ‘Zombie Dust’ while making it a bit more approachable for those leisurely drinking sessions.

The Appeal of Sessionable Clones

This approach to brewing clones of famous beers like ‘Zombie Dust’ allows for a bit of creativity and personalization. It’s fascinating to see how slight changes in the recipe can alter the beer’s character, making each clone a unique experience. I’m continually excited to explore and share these brewing adventures with my audience.

Understanding the Popularity of ‘Zombie Dust’ in the Homebrewing Community

“In reflecting on why ‘Zombie Dust’ from Three Floyds Brewing has become such a phenomenon among homebrewers, I believe the answer lies in the passionate hype generated by a handful of dedicated enthusiasts. It’s a tale of two kinds of homebrewers: those who, unable to access the elusive ‘Zombie Dust’ original, sought to recreate it themselves, and those who, having tasted the real deal, became inspired to keep a personal supply on tap at home.

The Role of Community and Passion

This popularity showcases the power of community and passion within the world of homebrewing. A few deeply committed individuals can ignite a widespread interest in a particular beer, leading to its legendary status within the community.

Inviting Your Perspectives

Now, I turn the question over to you: Why do you think ‘Zombie Dust’ has captivated the hearts of so many homebrewers? Is it the allure of the unattainable, the charm of its name, the unique taste profile, or perhaps something else entirely? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below – I’m eager to hear your take on this brewing phenomenon.

The idea for this topic came from a viewer at my YouTube channel–>

Do you also have an idea for a great topic to cover here on the blog? On my FAQ page Ask the Doctor you will find a comments section. Put your topic suggestions there, thanks! Go the FAQ page Ask the Doctor–>

The glass I used in the video and a lot more gear I recommend for beer and brewing will be found at my Amazon Influencer Storefront–>

Read more about DrHans Brewery here–>

Homebrewing Zombie Dust Cone Recipes

Diverse Interpretations of ‘Zombie Dust’: Showcasing Homebrewer Creativity

In the vibrant world of homebrewing, ‘Zombie Dust’ has inspired a myriad of interpretations, each reflecting the individual brewer’s flair and approach. I want to spotlight two distinct versions of this celebrated beer: a partial mash recipe from Johan in Luleå and an all-grain recipe from Larry of BeernBBQbyLarry.

Johan’s Partial Mash Approach

Johan, hailing from Luleå, offers a partial mash variant of ‘Zombie Dust.’ Partial mash brewing strikes a balance between the simplicity of extract brewing and the control of all-grain brewing, making it an excellent choice for those who want to dabble in more intricate brewing without a full all-grain setup.

Larry’s All-Grain Mastery

On the other hand, Larry claims to have ‘nailed’ the essence of ‘Zombie Dust’ with his all-grain recipe. All-grain brewing offers the ultimate customization and control over the beer-making process, often preferred by seasoned homebrewers seeking to closely replicate commercial brews.

Celebrating Homebrewer Ingenuity

These two recipes exemplify the innovative spirit of the homebrewing community. Whether it’s the adaptable approach of Johan’s partial mash or the precision of Larry’s all-grain method, each brewer brings their unique touch to the iconic ‘Zombie Dust.’ As we explore these interpretations, we celebrate the creativity and passion that fuel the homebrewing world.

Partial Mash Zombie Dust Clone

By Johan from Luleå

23L batch
76.7% Brewhouse efficiency

Boil Time 60min

OG 1.059
FG 1.012
IBU 44
Color 16.4 EBC

65C 60min
78c 10 min

Grain bill
2.7 kg Pale ale malt 52.9%
700g light munich 13.7%
200g caramel 150 3.9

1.5 kg extra light DME 29.4%


First wort 25g Citra (12.8% AA) First 23 IBU
10min 25g Citra (12.8% AA)  8 IBU
5min 75g Citra (12.8% AA) 13 IBU
Dry hop day 4 75g Citra (12.8% AA)
Dry hop day 10 200g Citra (12.8% AA)

lalbrew new england east coast ale

All grain Zombie Dust Clone Recipe

By BEERnBBQbyLarry

Batch Size 6gal us
IBUs: 73,02ABV: 5,8%SRM: 11,4

11lb Pale Malt 77,7%
1.0 lb Vienna Malt 7,1%
0.63lb Caramel Malt 20L  4,4%
0.5lb Melanoidin Malt 3,5%
0.5lb Munich Munich Malt 10L 3,5%
0.53lb Dextrin Malt 3,7%

Mash temp 154f

FWH 1oz  Citra13,0%AA (44,31 IBU)
15min 1oz Citra 13,0%AA (19,29 IBU)
5min 1oz Citra13,0%AA (7,75  IBU)
1min 1oz  Citra13,0%AA (1,68  IBU)

Dry Hop 1oz Citra13,0%AA  (0,00  IBU)

Other:Whirfloc Tablet 1pcs 15 min

YeastLondon ESB Ale 1968

Ferment @64-68 deg F for 7-10 days.
Dry hop for 7-10 days.
Keg & carbonate.

Cheers guys and thanks for checking out my blog, DrHans out!

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