Originally Posted by justinrphillips
Wouldn't the vodka extract all the flavor of the zest?
Possibly, but you can put both the vodka AND the zest in there. Chances are there's going to be some flavor left in the zest, unless you keep it in the vodka for weeks, in which case, you could still dump it all. A couple ounces of vodka or other neutral spirit isn't going to change the gravity of 5 gallons of beverage in any measurable way (at least not "measurable" by homebrewer standards... scientifically measurable, sure, but we're not going there!