The Mans Cave App

The Mans Cave

The Mans Cave was a concept originated long before my time. The men in my family have always had their place of solitude where men could be men and there was no questioning. I now live the city life which means the man cave has been greatly reduced in size. That brought me to create an internet based man cave where all men can join in. Whether geek, gamer, jock, fitness, brewer, BBQ-er, or just looking for a place to read about manly news, you will find a home in the Man Cave

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sports Highlights From April 29th

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Ultimate Man Cave Guide Part 2b

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Console Wars!
Fist off if you want to save some time and just see a quick chart explaining differences and all then please click the image below so it will open in a new window where you can enlarge the picture.  As for the rest of you that wish to hear The Mans Cave input on what to buy... thank you for valuing our input!  
Now onto the actual content... I will first tell you that The Mans Cave recommends you get the Xbox 360 S.  This is the newest Xbox and will fit any hardcore gamer just fine!  If you ask us a serious gamer will laugh at the Wii's graphics and game list.  Don't get us wrong, the Wii is a great machine, but just doesn't really find its place in a Man Cave (unless your kids frequently use your cave).  A last point about the Wii is that they announce a new console coming in 2012.... so you may want to hold off on their "old" model for now.  As for the PS3... well you must have seen the news by now.  The PS3 online network (PSN) has been down for a week now and there are reports of the hackers that attacked the PSN stealing credit information from users!  Other than the PSN killing all PS3 owners the PS3 actually has some killer media services that can bump it into a nice movie and Hulu streamer! The PS3 is also a Blue Ray disc player so throwout your Blue Ray player!  But still we chose the 360 over the PS3!  

The 360 now comes standard with wireless adapter built in.  As for media streaming the 360 can stream ESPN, Netflix, and Hulu (Hulu was announced today).  It also has a facebook application to make up for its lack of a web-browser.  Now you do have to pay to play online content, but it is safe to assume that the money you pay (about $4.16 a month, $50 per year) is going towards preventing troubles that the free PSN is seeing now.  The 360 wins overall in the online category and they always will because their users pay for that service.  Also most of you non-360 users talk about the "red ring of death" which is when and Xbox overheated and fried itself... but here's a bit of news... that "red ring" problem ONLY existed on the first model, and years later Microsoft has come out with tremendous improvements to stop overheating.  Also most "red ring" experiences could have been avoided if the user didn't pile stuff on-top of the console to prevent proper ventilation.  Finally we will point out that the Xbox 360 is made by Microsoft as in Microsoft Windows, so almost any media that is on your computer (music, movies, pictures) can be viewed by your 360 without having to hook it up with wires.  So as an ultimate gaming console and all-in-one media streamer the Xbox 360 S wins hands down for us at The Mans Cave!

*Note for the Hulu on Xbox 360... If you download the update to watch Hulu on your Xbox you get, from now till next Friday, a free Hulu Plus membership.  Another side note that our Brewmaster found is that if you sign up with a ".edu" e-mail address that one week free membership gets extended to one month!

Sports Highlights From April 28th

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This Weekend's Movies

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Another Friday and another bunch of movies for some entertainment!  We have four new movies coming out this weekend, and we have your guide through them all!

Fast Five:
Another Fast and Furious movie with Vin Diesel in it.  This one brings together all the top drivers (that lived) from the previous movies together to pull off one last heist for mega money to gain their freedom from a crooked businessman hunting them.  This is going to be EXACTLY what you expect, thats not a bad thing.  You'll see some fast cars, foreign and old-school American muscle, and some amazing driving skills light up the screen all night long!  This is definitely worth the watch even if its just to drool over the cars!




Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil:
Its another family movie hitting the big screen.  Like I always say, if your family is trying to pry you away from that precious Man Cave then this is your best bet for movie entertainment this weekend.  You'll probably get a few laughs from the not so normal childhood fairytale characters you thought you knew.  Just make sure you DVR the playoff games before you head out with the kids to this one because you'll need the macho sports boost afterwards!





Prom:
This one is for all those Man Caver's that are in their last weeks of high school.  This one will help you teenage dwellers on date night!  This movie is all about teenage kids gearing up for the big prom night, or finding inventive ways to ask that girl to it.  Lets face it guys (including the teenage ones) you wont be jumping for joy at this movie, but your date will.  We all know that if she likes the movie, you score points!  So this may be a weekend where you take the boring movie and cash in that favor to force her to go see Thor soon!




Dylan Dog: Dead of Night:
I'll try to sum this one up.... Sherlock Holmes meets Night of the Living Dead crossed with Twilight.  Thats right guys this one is about a detective for zombies, werewolves, and vampires.  Dylan Dog has to track down a dangerous artifact to stop an all out war between those three factions of horror clients.  If you guys have a date that is still swooning over twilight movies then this may be a way to break out of those movies and finally see something new.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sports Highlights From April 27th

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Ultimate Man Cave Guide Part 2a

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Now that we covered what type of TV to buy for your Man Cave it is now time to give that TV extra umph in the entertainment department!  It is pretty standard to buy a DVD or Blue Ray player to help keep the TV entertaining, but what about the other choices… there are gaming consoles that play movies now, media streaming devices that stream live over the internet!  The possibilities of what to buy are endless!  But don’t you worry Man Cave Dwellers, we have you covered!  Use this easy walkthrough to help you choose what is best for you!

First: DVD and Blue Ray (the basics)

I will not spend long in this area because it’s the BASICS!  It is pretty simple, get a machine that plays both DVD and Blue Ray that way you have all your bases covered.  Now it’s a huge plus to look for a machine that will also stream a service like Netflix over the internet as well.  A movie streaming service like Netflix really eases the tension on the wallet that buying Blue Rays and DVDs can cause!  As far as brand goes… I really cannot specify which brand is better, because it is all in the features!  Trust me just look for the all-in-one machine and you’ll be good to go!

Second: Alternate TV Services (Brief Overview)

These emerging media players for your TV come fully packed with everything you ever wanted your TV to really be!  The latest entry into this new market is Google TV.  In our opinion at The Mans Cave we chose Google TV because of its possibilities for expansion!  When you look at the chart we provided that lists key features and who has them you can see that there are few areas that each machine excels more than the others.  They are all set up to enrich your TV experience in many ways.  But Google stands apart from the rest because it is open source as usual!  They actually want people to come in and improve their stuff any way possible!  Also its a good thing to mention that Google is holding a big event in which a key feature will be the new app market strictly for your TV!  Now once that hits we all know those developers will find ways to turn your TV into the ultimate media streaming machine!  I wont list out a wordy explanation for each section covered in our chart, but please if there are any questions for any one of these machines feel free to leave a comment and I'm sure we will be messaging you back very shortly with an answer!  

I know we have not covered gaming consoles here... but that is only because the "console wars" needs to be its own post!  So look for our part 2b of this guide coming tomorrow afternoon!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Serving Your Beer at the Right Temperature

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Straight out of the Ice Bucket (32-39F---0-4C): When drinks are very cold, they actually prevent you from tasting what their actual flavor is.  The typical macrobrewery style beer should be drunk when it is icy.  Thus the common reference to how cold and refreshing these beers are. Pale Lager, Malt Liquor, Canadian-style Golden Ale, Canadian Cream Ale, Low Alcohol Cider.

Set it on the Counter While You Grab Your Glass from the Cabinet (39-45F---
4-7C): You want this group of beers to just lose a little bit of that chill they get from hanging out in the fridge.  5-10 minutes on the counter is enough to do the trick.  Hefeweizen, Kölsch, Premium Lager, Pilsner, Classic German Pilsner, Fruit Beer, European Strong Lager, Berliner Weisse, Belgian White, American Dark Lager, sweetened Fruit Lambics and Gueuzes, Duvel-types

Take it Out of the Fridge and Find a Snack First (45-54F--
8-12C): The flavors and aromas in these styles need a little bit more time to really develop to their full potential.  10-20 minutes is the perfect amount of time.  American Pale Ale, Amber Ale, California Common, Dunkelweizen, Bohemian Pilsner, Dunkel, Dortmunder/Helles, Vienna, Schwarzbier, Smoked, Altbier, Tripel, Irish Ale, Sweet Stout, Stout, Dry Stout, Porter, English-style Golden Ale, unsweetened Fruit Lambics and Gueuzes, Faro, Belgian Ale, French or Spanish-style Cider

Set it on the Counter and Go Start the Charcoal for Your Grill (54-57F---
12-14C): There are seriously complex flavors in these brews, and they really need to warm up to develop.  Set them out and then go get everything else ready, or watch the previews for your movie.  20-30 minutes will really open them up.  Bitter, Premium Bitter, Brown Ale, India Pale Ale, English Pale Ale, English Strong Ale, Old Ale, Saison, Unblended Lambic, Flemish Sour Ale, Bière de Garde, Baltic Porter, Abbey Dubbel, Belgian Strong Ale, Weizen Bock, Bock, Foreign Stout, Scottish Ale, Scotch Ale, American Strong Ale, Mild, English-style Cider

Take it Out of the Fridge and Forget About It (57-61F---
14-16C): These styles are so rich and complex that they need to really warm up or all you will taste is alcohol in your glass.  I like to pour it after about 30-40 minutes of being out of the fridge, and then let it continue to warm in my hand while I drink it.  Barley Wine, Abt/Quadrupel, Imperial Stout, Imperial/Double IPA, Doppelbock, Eisbock, Mead
Cheers and Happy Brewing

Sports Highlights From April 26th

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Choosing the Right Glass for Your Beer

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Often when you walk into a restaurant or bar, you get served your beer in the same type of glass regardless of what beer you ordered.  Occasionally you might find a place that serves it in two different types of glasses.  Unknown to some people, certain types of glasses exist solely to make your beer taste, look, and smell better.  Here's a quick rundown of many of the glasses available for your beer, as well as some of our favorite examples to go with those glasses.

The American Pint: This is the classic go-to glass of most places that serve beer.  It is inexpensive and easy to stack which is why most bars and restaurants love it, but it most likely is not giving you the best beer experience possible.  The shape of the glass causes both aroma and flavor to be reduced, but for Amber lager beers, this glass is an acceptable choice.
Commercial Example for this Style: Dos Equis Amber

Irish Imperial Pint: This glass is famous mostly for one beer; Guinness.  The wide mouth at the top of it encourages a rich, frothy head, while the narrower portion at the bottom allows you to hold the glass while not transferring excessive heat to the glass.  This glass is perfect for rich stouts.
Commerical Example: Guinness (Obviously) and Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout

Nonick Imperial Pint: This is my personal favorite for drinking.  The bump in the middle of the glass gives you a nice grip on it, and the open mouth allows hop aromas to really open up.  This beer is great for anything with strong hop flavor.  American Pale Ales, English Pale Ales and Bitters, American Amber Ales, and IPAs.  Porters also work well in this glass.
Commercial Example: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA or Stone Smoked Porter

Snifter:  Besides having a great name, the snifter is perfect for big beers that are meant for savoring slowly.  The wide bottom cause heat to transfer from your hand, warming the beer up and allowing aromas and flavors to fully develop.  Barleywines, Old Ales, and basically anything over 8 or 9 % ABV is suitable for this glass.
Commercial Example: Avery Dugana or Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine

Tulip Glass: The narrow neck of this glass causes aromas to build up inside and enhance each time you take a drink of your beer.  These are great glasses for French and Belgian ales that are known for having those rich fruity aromas.  Tulip glasses are also great for maintaining a frothy head on top of your beer.
Commercial Examples: Brooklyn Sorachi Ace or Chimay Grande Reserve

Handled Glass Stein or Mug:  Any glass with a handle is designed to limit heat transfer to your beer so that it will stay refreshing and cool.  The stein is specifically designed for drinking German style beers, and the unique designs of most of these glasses elevates the drinking experience.
Commercial Examples: Spaten Oktoberfest or Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

Weissbier Vase: This style of glass is made specifically for drinking wheat beers.  The long narrow glass shows off the natural cloudiness of a wheat beer, while promoting a long lasting head. 
Commercial Examples: Blue Moon Belgian White or Ayinger Brau Weisse

Classic Pilsner: This beer is one of the more common ones seen if your restaurant or bar has more than one glass option.  The tall narrow glass is made to show off the clarity of pilsners as well as direct aromas into your nose when your tilt the glass. Cream ales and California Commons also work well in this glass.
Commercial Examples: Stella Artois or Prima Pils

Brewery Specific Glasses: Many breweries produce their own glassware to model a specific beer that they produce.  However, many of these glasses can be used for other beers as well.  The trick is to stick to the general style of beer around which the glass was designed.  General rule- the higher the alcohol, the smaller the glass.
Commercial Examples: Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glass or Hoegaarden's Jelly Glass

Cheers and Happy Brewing

Sports Highlights From April 25th

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Creating Your Signature Brew

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If you are anything like me, you get kind of bored by the idea of looking up a recipe for brewing a beer, and then sticking exactly to what it says.  I always find myself changing up the malts, or hops, and adding other flavors to try and create something unique.  There are many tried and true recipes out there that produce great beers, but there is something special about telling someone who is about to drink your brew that you came up with the recipe by yourself!  So here is a little guide to creating your own recipe:

BJCP Styles- These are the officially recognized styles of beer that most competitions use as their categories for beer entries.  Available at www.bjcp.org, these guidelines are a great place to start as they give you established styles of beer around which you can choose to craft your own.  I often begin here and craft a recipe with one of these styles in mind.

Inspiration for Your Recipe- This is probably the biggest part of creating your recipe.  If you want to do something that lets people know it was you that brewed it, you have to figure out how the beer ties in to your life.  It could be anything from your love or BBQ, chocolate, or even a video game! The trick is to really be different so that people will know exactly how you made this your beer.

I was looking around the BJCP Guidelines the other day after trying Brooklyn Sorachi Ace (Read About Sorachi Ace Here) because I had never heard of the Saison style of beer.  I'm a BBQ junkie so I was trying to think of a beer that I could brew that would go really well with BBQ and a hot afternoon by the pool.  With those two ideas in mind, I went about crafting my recipe.  Now to continue with the guide:

Base Malt: This step is an important part of your recipe creation.  This is often overlooked by brewers that simply just use 2-row malt.  Or just use Light Dry Malt Extract.  Any of the malts that could be considered base malts can make up the entire grain bill for your recipe.  Here is a quick run down of the malts:
           6-row malt- This malt is known for its ability to help mashing with low enzyme adjunct ingredients.  It is relatively high in protein, and can therefore cause problems with clarity, but it gives your beer a strong grainy flavor.
           2-row malt- This is similar to 6-row, but is usually mellower and provides less of a grainy taste, and more of what most people consider "malty."  However, it does not have the same ability to help with mashing low enzyme adjuncts, but can still get the job down.  This is usually considered the go to malt for most American style beers.
           Maris Otter Malt- This English malt is considered by many to be the most superior malt.  It has a very rich flavor, and is very forgiving to brewing mistakes.
           Golden Promise- This is basically the Scottish equivalent of Maris Otter.  Rich, malty flavor, but it is a very balanced flavor.
           German or Belgian Pilsner Malt- Both of these malts produce a smooth grainy flavor, and if used in a recipe should make up at least 80% of what goes into your mash.  They are excellent choices for either ales or lagers.
           Wheat Malt- Wheat malt gives that classic hazy look to any style wheat beer (i.g. Hefeweizen).  It is possible to use only wheat malt in your mash, especially if you use the brew in a bag method, but it has a tendency to cause everything to get stuck up if you don't use another base malt with it (2-row or 6-row are great choices).

Any of these malts can be used to make up 100% of your grain bill in your recipe.  There are many more varieties of base malts out there, but these 7 give you a broad array of choices.  It is a safe bet that if you use at least 75% base malt in your recipe, you will end up with a pretty good beer.  It is also important to remember that the percentages for your malts are those that go into your mash.

Specialty and Crystal Malts- There are a broad array of specialty malts that can be used to add color, flavor, mouthfeel, or head retention to your beer.  The ones listed below are just a peek at what is available, but they are some of my favorites.
           Crystal Malt- Crystal Malts add a caramel flavor and golden to dark red color to your beer depending on which Crystal malt you use.  The bigger the number that follows (Crystal 10L versus 120L) the darker the color it produces and the richer caramel flavor.
           Victory Malt- This is one of my favorites to use, especially in IPAs.  This malt gives your beer a rich, bready flavor that reminds me of rolls coming out of the oven.
           Vienna Malt- This malt will give your beer a mellow, malty depth of flavor as well as a orange color.  (This malt is considered a base malt, but I use it more as a specialty malt)
           Black Patent Malt- This beer is known for its use in porters and stouts, but its contribution is mostly limited to color.  Small amounts are all that is needed for this malt to give your beer a dark black color. 1-10% is the general use because any more than that results in astringent flavors.
           Carapils®- This malt is an interesting malt that has absolutely no effect on color or taste.  It will add body, foam retention, and beer stability. Only 1-5% will have the effect you want on your beer.
           Special B- This is a really unique Belgian crystal malt that will give your beer those dark, rich dried fruit flavors that is a must in Belgian Abbey style beers.  Using more than 5% will give your beer a very dark color and an even stronger fruit flavor.
           Smoked Malts- There are several varieties of smoked malts, but the general effect on your beer is to provide a rich, smoky flavor, with not too much impact on color.  Be careful with these malts as a very little amount will go a long way as far as flavor goes.  Stay under 5% or you will regret it.

So at this point, I know that I want to do a Saison Style beer, which is very crisp, dry and slightly fruity in taste.  Up to this point, I know that I will be using 2 different base malts, German Pilsner Malt and 2-row malt to help get that crisp flavor with a nice malty background.  I'm also going to add just a little Vienna Malt because I want to get some of that orange color in this beer.  Now I need to think about my hops, and any adjuncts (or additions that aren't hops, malt, yeast, or water) I want to add.

Hops- Hops aren't just for bitterness, flavor, and aroma.  They are a vital part of beer that helps protect the flavors of your malt so they do not become astringent.  Obviously, bitterness, flavor, and aroma are huge!  Depending on when you add your hops depends on whether you will get bitterness, flavor, or aroma out of them.  Stick to this basic guideline.  If you add them at 60 minutes of boiling time, you will get bitterness.  With 15 minutes left in the boil you will get flavor, and with 5 minutes left in the boil you will get aroma.  Dry-hopping also adds aroma.
              Cascade-  This is the classic go to hop for most homebrewers.  Bright, citrusy, and slightly floral, this hop is great for IPAs, and is useful as a bittering, flavoring, or aroma hop.
              Centennial- This is thought of as a super Cascade.
              Fuggles- This hop gives off a earthy, woodsy flavor and aroma.  Most people either love it or hate it.
              Hallertau- German hop that comes off in flavor and aroma as being mildly floral and earthy.
              Saaz- The classic lagering hop.  Nice hoppy flavor and aroma that compliments crisp, clean beer styles.

As with both categories above, there is such a broad variety of hops that you have to choose from that you could almost never run out of options and combinations.  Exploring the ways that hops blend could lead you to create a beer that is completely unique.

Adjuncts- This is where your creativity can really thrive.  Commercial examples of beer with adjuncts include everything from chocolate to pumpkin to fruit of many kinds.  In our grain to glass video coming up, we included vanilla in our beer.  Depending on what it is that you had could change many things about your beer, the most immediate being its ABV.  By adding simple sugars, you can increase the ABV and add flavor at the same time. 

So I now know that I want to brew a Saison style beer, and that I'm going to use both German Pilsner and 2-row malt as my base malt.  I'm going to add a little Vienna malt to add some color and then I'm going to use a combination of three hops that I really feel will compliment each other.  For bittering purposes I'm going to use a mix of Cascade and Centennial, and then for the flavor and aroma hops I'm going to use a hop known as Sorachi Ace.  It is a hop that is bright and floral and gives a lemony flavor and aroma to your beer.  Then, as an adjunct, I'm going to add white grape juice.  I know that sounds a little strange, but I recently enjoyed He'Brew Rejewvenator and it has this nice grape flavor from concord grapes that I thought was really great and unique.

Our last step! Yeast!
YEAST- Often times, people overlook yeast, but the yeast that you use to ferment your beer can be one of the biggest choices you make.  Rather than just try to describe a few of them, I'm just going to post two links that you can check out that provide a ton of information.
Wyeast Labs
Fermentis
These are the two companies that I use for my yeast and I have yet to be disappointed by the results.

For my dream BBQ beer, I'm going to use Wyeast 3711 which is their French Saison yeast that is supposed to produce crisp, dry beers, with fruity aromas and a light mouthfeel.  This should be perfect for cutting through the heavy flavors of BBQ and refreshing you on a hot summer day!

Have fun with creating your recipes! Stick to these basic guidelines and you should be well on your way to creating a recipe that you can really call your own.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and we'll try to help you out! If you're interested, I've posted the actual recipe for the brew I created just below.

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Summer Sting Farmhouse Ale
Mash at 148 for 80 minutes
4 lb American 2-row
4 lb German Pilsner
4 oz Vienna Malt

60 minute Boil
At the start add
      .5 ounces Cascade
      .25 ounces Centennial
45 minutes into the boil add
      .25 ounces Sorachi Ace
With 5 minutes to go add
      .25 ounces Sorachi Ace
      8 ounces honey
With 1 minute to go add
      .5 ounces Sorachi Ace
Cool wort and pitch Wyeast 3711.  After two days add 32 ounces of White Grape Juice and allow to ferment in primary for at least 2 weeks between 70 and 80 degrees F.  This yeast works really well at warmer temperatures.  Move to secondary if desired after 2-3 weeks and then bottle or keg as desired.

Want Premium Entertainment at Low Cost? Glyde.com is Your Site!

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Click on picture to be sent to glyde
Lets face it, we all have to operate our Man Caves on a budget.  Some people's budgets may be tighter than others, but no matter how constricted your wallet feels its always good to loosen it up a bit with hot deals!  We here at The Mans Cave found just the site to help you clear out some old games, dvds, or books for cash!  It doesn't stop there though, you can also easily buy games, dvds, or books for discounts as deep as 90%!  Each product you buy has been rated on its quality so you know what you are getting and in the exact condition specified.  

Now we tested this site out numerous times to make sure everything was up to par.  We have bought, sold, and contacted customer support multiple times to just test out how flexible and easy it is to use every aspect of this site.  Our results were nothing short of stellar!  everything ran ultra smooth, we always got what we purchased fast!  We contacted customer support a few times and they responded in more than a timely manor!   Even selling our stuff on the site was s breeze... all we had to do is just locate the product on their site by typing in the name, choose what console its for (if its a game) and rate what condition it was in, then you get to set the price yourself!  As soon as someone buys it you are notified and Glyde sends you a pre-marked package to put the product in and then you just send it off!  Once you get the money deposited into your account you can even ask Glyde to send you it in check form!  

All around Glyde scores outstanding numbers on our charts!  the user interface is slick and their selection is HUGE.  It is a truly free market set by us users!

Sports Highlights From April 24th

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Friday, April 22, 2011

The Beginners Guide to Workingout

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Well guys we finally put together a great Beginners Workout Guide!  This should have everything you noobs want to know about general working out.  Now because it didn't make a ton of sense to upload this in segments we figured why not just deliver the whole file at once.  So this link attached here will take you to a site called File Server where you can download the entire document for free!  It will require you to wait for like 30 seconds before downloading, but we had to do it this way because our current site does not let us upload word documents.

So go the link below and download our guide!  Let us know what you think, and of course let us know if you have anything better!  We want to deliver the best content to our audience, so if you have better we will deliver it and give you full credit of course!

File name: Beginners guide to Workingout.docx
File size:46.18 KB


As a side note... we have not tested opening this file on a Mac computer, but if you have any trouble let us know and we will personally send you an e-mail of a version that your computer will be able to open!  Also look for some more advanced workout guides to come in the near future!

Sports Highlights From April 21st

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Slim Picking for Movies this Weekend

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With only three movies actually coming out this weekend its hard to decide which one is best to go to, but don't you worry because we here at The Mans Cave know exactly where you should be heading to with your date tonight!

Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family:
I know you have all seen at least one movie with the famous Madea in it!  If not then I will tell you right now that your missing out on some seriously funny comedy!  In this movie its up to Madea to bring the family together while her niece Sherry gets distressing news about her health, and they have a long buried family secret come to life.  I know the plot may seem a little generic and thin, but don't be fooled!  Madea is sure to light up the big screen with her tough love for her family!  She's absolutely hilarious and she is the reason we are putting this movie as the number one date movie this weekend!



Water for Elephants:
A guy and a girl from separate lifestyles find themselves falling for one another despite being from completely opposite worlds.  They originally come together over their passion for a specific elephant in the circus that Marlena performs at.  Despite her being married the Veterinarian student Jacob falls for her and they both strive for life long love with each other.  There you have it.... I promise your dates will love it, but you probably wont!  



African Cats:
This will be quick.... its a documentary about the large wild cats in Africa with narration from Samuel L. Jackson.  A typical Earth Day film.  If you really want to see this movie... I suggest saving money and turning on the Animal Plant channel tonight! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sports Highlights From April 20th

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Royal Virility Performance: Viagra in a Beer!!

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Well it appears that one brewery has finally figured out how to combine two things that men love.  Beer and sex.  In a special release specifically produced for the upcoming Royal Wedding, BrewDog has figured out how to combine Viagra with beer.  According to the brewery, drinking three bottles of this beer will be the equivalent of taking one pill.  The additives to this IPA don't stop there though.  The brewery has also included "Horny Goat Weed" and chocolate, both proclaimed for being aphrodisiacs, and the beer itself is 7.5% ABV.  Knock back 3 of those and I'm sure you'll be feeling something!  For now it is an extremely limited release, with just 40 bottles being produced and sold at a special auction for charity, but the company plans on continuing production if it is a success.

You Need an Ultimate Man Cave, and We're Here to Help You With a How-To Guide!

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It has become painstakingly obvious that either only a small number of our followers know what a "Man Cave" consists of, or no one thinks of our site as "legit".  I've come to this conclusion after the terrible turnout for our Ultimate Man Cave competition.  While all of you missed out on a free opportunity to get $20 in Amazon.com gift cards the two that did enter only had to upload a picture of their version of a "Man Cave" to win.  So I will assume that people consider our site legit, but just didn't think their "Man Cave" was good enough for our competition.  This brings us to this new segment that will teach you of the basics for any "Man Cave" and will help you build on your current caves!

Lets start with the extreme basic.... every "Man Cave" needs a center of attention, and its usual a BIG TV or monitor!  Now some of you may be entertainers yourselves and would like something like a bar or BBQ pit to be the focus. Well if that sounds like you then don't worry we will be covering those things later in these segments!
Batman's Man Cave?

Personally I am still in the start-up phase of my personal Man Cave, but I do have TV part down.  In-fact my entire Man Cave consists of one TV on the ground, one floor chair, and my two college diplomas.  I hope to get a mini-fridge in there soon!

As you can see my Man Cave is set up for only one person because I live in an apt. with limited space.  However, for those of you that can rope off a bigger room to call your own I would suggest a set-up that puts the TV in focus for everyone.  Want prices on good quality TV's... then trust me check out Amazon.com they have reviews on every product and you wont find better prices I promise! (if you do please comment with a link so I can edit this to show the best prices for everyone!)

The 2nd question that should be popping into your head is: "What type of TV?".  Well just use the handy little chart below to answer those questions!

The only topic not covered on the chart is pixel density! The difference between the 1080's and the 720's are easy to spot.  The 1080 is far better... but most people cannot distinguish between the "p" and "i" that is "1080p" and "1080i".  First off the "p" stands for progressive scan (opposed to interlaced) and the "i" stands for interlaced.  Whats the difference?

In an interlaced screen the TV literally draws only half of the lines at a time.  This means that out of the 1080 lines of pixels you have, you only see 540, then the TV runs the other 540, so the process consists of the TV running the odd 540 then the even 540, this all happens so fast that your eyes are tricked into seeing the full image.  However with the progressive the TV runs all 1080 lines of pixels at once.

As you can see we couldn't just assign the pixel density to a simple chart!  It is important to also note that any screen under 40 inches will be too small to notice the difference between 1080i and 1080p.  However, if you want the biggest then go for the 1080p for a true HD experience.  Here is a quick picture to illustrate the difference between the pixel densities.  (Click on the picture to view it at its actual size for full effect).

NHL Hits, Goals, and Saves of the Year 2011!

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HITS


GOALS


SAVES

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stone Brewing Co. Interview with The Mans Cave's Founders!

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You know from our past reviews that we really enjoy every beer that we have had the pleasure of trying from Stone Brewing Co.  Their company is truly focused on using completely natural ingredients to produce beers of the highest quality.  We recently had the pleasure of conducting an online interview with Community Relations Manager Chris Cochran of Stone Brewing Co.  Chris's answers were nothing short of fantastic, and we couldn't wait to get this information posted so all of our fans at themanscave.org could be a part of this!  So here it is; an interview that we hope you will all enjoy as much as we did!

The Mans Cave Interview with Stone Brewing Co.

Mans Cave:      What is the single greatest influence that caused you to become a brewer?
Chris Cochran (Stone Brewing):       Well, my title here is Community Relations Mgr, so not a brewer, but I’d say the single greatest influence to want to work in the craft beer industry would be to be a part of such a creative, dynamic, and interesting industry.

MC:      Do you feel that homebrewers generally provide you with more or less support than other beer drinkers?
CC:       More…they tend to get what we’re doing and appreciate the risks involved in creating an amazing beer!

MC:      What inspires you to think of new types of beer to brew?
CC:       Here at Stone we’re basically into brewing beers all of us here like and are interested in trying. New recipes come from tasting panels, brain storming, and our amazing Brewing Team coming up with some amazing ideas.

MC:      We know that Stone is loaded with Arrogance, but what really makes Stone beer better than the rest?
CC:       Well, it is not that our beers are better than the rest, well maybe they are (OK, just kidding), but I think it has to do with many factors. We’re consistent. We’re honest. We’re transparent. People like all those things and we try and keep that commitment, especially when it comes to our amazing beers!

MC:    Is it more important to make a beer that pairs well with specific food, or make good beer then find food that pairs well with it?
                        CC:    The latter – you have to start with the beer, period.
               
MC:      We all know that the world of craft beer is expanding at a rapid pace, but for those interested in possibly getting into the craft, what recommendations do you have?
CC:       Be patient. Be real. Be creative. Be willing to take risks and accept failure…or at least willing to hear others tell you that you will fail. I think you also have to be honest with yourself and your team, to make beers you want and feel strongly about…not looking to answer what some market study says is popular.

MC:      You are a Southern California Brewery that finds its heritage in British style ales, what is the biggest challenge in combining these two completely different areas?
CC:       Hmm, well although we have British ale influences in our beers, such as Stone Pale Ale, being based on the West Coast and in San Diego County tends to perhaps be the most influential. Then again we’re not influenced by much…or is that too Arrogant? ;)

MC:      When brewing, is it more important at your brewery to honor the past or make advances for the future?
CC:       Well, I think that is a question that could be asked of nearly any industry and at any time. You have to respect and honor the past, whether that be the history of brewing or what got Stone to be where it is today. However, in order to succeed as a business and continue to be a leader in the craft beer industry we feel that we also have to look towards the future…always.

MC:      In your words, describe someone or something that exemplifies the Stone way of life.
CC:       Our President, Steve Wagner, and our CEO, Greg Koch, Stone’s two Co-Founders truly are what Stone is all about…you have to talk the talk and walk the walk…and they do it on a daily basis. In other words, you have to “Be Amazing” which is our un-official Mission Statement, and something the entire Stone Team tries to live up to!

MC:      If Stone Brewing had its very own "Ultimate Man Cave" what would be center stage in it?
CC:       Hmm, you’d have to have a four-tap kegerator (with Stone, Pizza Port, Russian River and Green Flash on tap), some pinball machines, PS3, a golf simulator, personal barista, masseuse, chef (or at least a dedicated pizza oven AND omelet station), and of course a stage for impromptu concerts by your rock n’ roll friends!
Thanks again to Chris for making this happen and to Stone Brewing Co. for all the great beer that they produce!  Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Our 100th Post! Serious Beer Reviews!

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For our 100th post, I felt that we needed to up the game and do multiple reviews from several different breweries.  Since Spring is definitely here now, we're going to do this one a little differently too; we're going to give you recommendations as to when these beers would be great to drink, along with our ratings.  So tilt your glass back, prop up your feet, and let the beer flow!


Perfect Beer for the Beach:  So you're headed to the beach this weekend, but you're kinda tired of the same ole Corona every time you go to the beach.  The trick is to find something light, crisp, and refreshing enough to quench your thirst, but light enough to keep you on your feet.  Samuel Adams just came out with a Rustic Saison.  Traditionally, Saisons were brewed by farmers in France and Belgium so that they would be able to drink something in the hot, summer months while they worked.  They needed a beer that would refresh them, but not inebriate them so that they could keep working.  Sam Adams Rustic Saison is a perfect example of this beer.  Light, crisp, hoppy aromas are backed by a subtle maltiness while a little fruit flavor comes through in the taste.  Just keep a bottle sleeve wrapped around it to keep the bright sun from ruining your beer and you'll be good to go! At only 4.3% abv, this is a beer that you can drink all day at the beach and still feel great.    Rating- 8/10

When You Want to Kick Back and Relax:  Once the sun starts slipping into the water, you want a beer with a little more kick, but still full of flavor.  Southern Tier 2X IPA fits the bill.  Loaded with bright citrusy hops, this beer is a perfect balance of hops and malt.  There is a nice sweetness behind the hop aroma and flavor that really helps round this beer out.  At 8% ABV, this beer is stepped up a little from the last one, but still something that you can savor as the day draws to an end.    Rating- 9/10

Fire Up the Grill and Let's Hear That Sizzle:  With the coming of Spring returns the desire to get out in the backyard with some charcoal, lighter fluid, and a big hunk of beef to throw on the grill.  To balance all that charred deliciousness, you need something with a strong malty flavor to stand up to the grill.  Abita Amber Ale is a great match for foods that come hot off the grill.  While there are some hops to help balance out the beer, the true star is a rich malty flavor that makes me think of a fresh loaf of bread coming out of the oven.   Rating 7.5/10

When You Want Something New to Try:  Flying Dog Backyard Ale- I have yet to try this beer, which is why it won't have a rating with it, but Flying Dog collaborated with Chef Bryan Voltaggio to make a beer that should be perfect for the backyard.  I'll be on the lookout for it, and if you have tried it, leave us a comment so we know if it is worth it!

Hope you guys are all in the process of getting your equipment ready and ordering your supplies for our Grain-to-Glass special coming in May!  My supplies are arriving tomorrow and I hope to be brewing sometime this week so it will all be right on schedule for our big event!  On the same note, be on the lookout for another giveaway coming soon.  This one will be a little more beer centered.

Cheers and Happy Brewing

Last Nights Sports Highlights

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Samuel Adams Longshot Homebrew 6-Pack Reviews

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As a homebrewer, the Samuel Adams Longshot Homebrew competition gives many of us the exciting opportunity to enter a competition where we can compete against fellow homebrewers, and possibly gain some recognition for doing things in the best way we see possible.  As a beer drinker, the competition produces great beer that I can enjoy.  I just picked up a six-pack of this year's Longshot Homebrew winners and I'm here to provide you reviews of all three of this year's winning beers.


This year's homebrew competition required that all of the beers be ones that fit into category 23 of the BJCP rules.  That basically means they must stretch the boundaries of what commonly fits into the other categories of beer.

Friar Hop Ale-  This beer combines a spicy belgian ale with the hoppiness of an IPA.  It pours a nice clear, golden color and you immediately smell both the spice of the Belgian yeast and the citrusy American hops that it was brewed with.  The taste pretty much backs up exactly what you get in the smell.  It starts with a strong kick from the spice and orange flavor that you would expect in a Belgian, but then the bitter hoppiness carries on and finishes the taste.  The one downside I thought there was to this beer was that the spice in the front of the beer was a little too strong in my opinion.  A little more restraint there would have been nice. Rating 7/10

Honey B's Lavender Ale-  I swore to myself that I wasn't going to knock it before I tried it.  This beer definitely stretches boundaries.  It actually is brewed with dried lavender petals.  The pour of this brew is a light pale gold, and the aroma is clearly lavender.  It's not like smelling potpouri, which is what I thought it was going to be, but there is definitely a floral smell to it.  The taste is better than I originally thought it was going to be, but again the floral taste is definitely there.  The honey in the beer helps to give it a little sweetness, which it definitely needs.  This is not something that I would want to drink more than half a beer of, but it did taste better than I expected.  Rating- 5/10

Blackened Hops- There is a new style of beer that has become more popular known as Cascadian Dark Ale (or Black IPA or many other names depending on who you ask).  That is what I thought this beer was going to be, mostly because of the name.  The pour is dark black, and the smell is nothing but hops, which surprises you enough.  However, the taste is where this one is really surprising.  Unlike the Black IPA style, there are notes of coffee and roasty malts that actually come through in the taste.  Much to my surprise and enjoyment, they actually work together.  Of the 3 beers in this six-pack, I enjoyed this one the most.  Rating- 8/10

The Mans Cave Arcade Room!

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We made a major update to our entertainment for our followers!  We have introduced a new page filled with some good'ol time waisting flash games!  Unlike some other sites that just link to the flash games we actually went out and became affiliates to get these!  That means we will be hosting them on our own servers for you guys.  Due to our current limitations in bandwidth and all we only uploaded 6, but if we cannot expand that soon then we will make sure to rotate those 6 with the latest games as often as possible!  So please head on over to our new Arcade Room (link up top or just click this picture) and play some of those flash goodies!  Also we are looking into making a Mans Cave leader-board so we can possibly have some competitions or you could just get on here and get some bragging right!  Either way, ENJOY!

Movies Opening Today, What to See?

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Scream 4:
This one brings me back!  For those of you that are old enough to remember the first Scream movie that released in 1996 you may be thinking that the Scream franchise shouldn't be trying to usher in a new movie.  However, for those of you that are still young enough to have missed that 1996 release, then you may be looking forward to a hack and slash movie!  Either way I believe that everyone will enjoy taking their dates to this movie!  They bring back some people from the old cast and gather them together when Sidney Prescott comes back into town on her book tour.  There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell).  Unfortunately Sidney's appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger.  So gather your girls and head on over to Scream 4, you wont regret it when you walk out with her hanging onto your arm like your a superhero!
Rio:
Every now and then some of our Man Cavers have to leave their humble cave to entertain the family.  If this sounds like you for the weekend then head over to the movies and see Rio!  Your whole family will enjoy this movie, and you will certainly get laughs as well.  The story is about two near extinct birds that that get kidnapped and start a long journey to find Blu's, main character, owner.  Expect some hilarious voice work for these birds and humor in line with the movies Ice Age put out.  This one will have you winning the worlds greatest dad trophy, which is good considering you probably didn't win our "Ultimate Man Cave Award"!
The Conspirator:
Many of you may not have heard of this movie too much,  but you history buffs probably are already in line to see it today!  This movie puts Mary Surratt in the spotlight as the lone woman charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her.  I expect some great feedback from people seeing this movie because its an area that the film industry hasn't beat to death in the past decade.  This should give the movies a fresh taste of new cinema which is much needed, and you have to love their tag line...."One bullet killed the President, but not one man."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

iPad 2, Xoom, and PlayBook (what to buy?)

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This comparison chart pretty clearly outlines the highs and lows of each tablet in the different hardware and software capabilities.  I will not be explaining the basics of the chart, but instead will highlight some key differences and then end it with category not mentioned here.  First off the screen sizes are all relatively the same size except the Playbook being a 7 inch screen.  I personally believe that 7 inch is too small for a tablet and would opt for the 10 inch ones which are just as portable.  The second big difference is the processor, they are all benched at nearly the same speeds, but I would look for the well known chips like NVIDIA and Snapdragon.  Another important note is the capacity of each tablet.  Most tablets limit this to just the internal memory, but Xoom actually allows you to use SD cards to expand the memory!  This is a big improvement to the usual limitations.

Those are the highlights from the chart, but one important topic that has not been touched on here is the apps!  lets face it you are getting a tablet so you can use apps on it, not use it exactly like a touch screen desktop computer.  Obviously the largest app selection falls to the Apple iPad 2, but its important to note that the Android app list has been exploding ever since they came out!  Most apps run on their tablet OS "honeycomb" but only a few are optimized for the software.

My personal pick for the top tablet in the markets right now would have to go to the Motorola Xoom tablet!  The only other tablet that comes close to it is the iPad 2, but lets face it Apple LOVES to limit their apps.  Everything has to be approved before being listed on the market, and there is obviously a big reason why everyone tried to "jailbreak" it, and its because they don't want Apple's security to limit them!  When it comes to the Xoom and Android software its almost all open source.  There are even way (without jailbreaking) to get apps for free (ANY APPS)!  I wont tell you how to break the law, but lets face it the android tablets and apps will surpass others strictly because we users can choose where to take our limits!

NHL Playoffs: Round 1: 4/13 Game Highlights

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Chicago Vs. Van













Tampa Bay Vs. Pittsburgh       

 New York Rangers Vs. Washington                                             Anaheim Vs. Nashville 

Detroit Vs. Phoenix

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Building Your Own Smoke Pit

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For many of you out there, the ideal meal for any time of the year is BBQ.  Now we aren't talking about that fake BBQ that gets baked in the oven and then slopped with BBQ sauce.  We're talking about hardwood smoked, low and slow BBQ that just falls apart in your mouth.  Well, here at The Mans Cave, we aren't just about doing things the easy way, but we like to take it to the next level.  There are many different commercial smokers out there that do a great job of smoking BBQ.  In fact, I own something similar to the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, and it does a great job.  My only complaint is that the surface on which I can place meat is pretty limited so if I'm having a big group over, low and slow smoked BBQ is kind of out of the question.
That being said, I did what any desperate person would do, and decided I was going all out.  I went to my local butcher and ordered an 85 pound pig and then set about constructing my own smoker.  Here are the step-by-step instructions for building a smoker that is big enough to roast a pig.  If you don't need something that big, just decrease each side of stacked bricks by one and you will have a more compact smoker.
Here are your step by step instructions along with pictures:

1.  The first thing you need to do is gather your materials.
      You will need:
               cinder blocks (48 to 50) $57 from Home Depot
               two metal fence posts (the material of these doesn't matter since they won't come into contact with the food) $20 from Home Depot
               two sheets of expanded metal 2 ft X 4 ft (stainless steel is best- make sure whatever you use is not galvanized or you will make yourself sick when eating the food)
                                                             -$60 from your local metal supplier
                                                   2 rolls of heavy duty aluminum foil
                                                             -$5 from grocery store
                                       The cost for your supplies will be about  $142 compared to almost $300 for a commercial smoker with less than half the cooking space.
                                   2.  Building the smoker

To construct the smoker, stack the bricks on the long sides 4 x 4 and then the narrow ends 2 x 4 as you see above.  It is important that after you put the first two layers of bricks down, you stop and do the aluminum foil covering as is seen in this next picture.




Make sure all the edges of the bricks are snugly tucked against each other to keep the heat loss to a minimum.

At this point, you lay both sheets of expanded metal on the ground and attach one of the posts to both sheets of metal. I know that sounds kind of confusing, but the idea is to make a cage of sorts with the expanded metal.  You can see what I mean in the picture below.
You only want one side wired/tied shut for now because you still have to put the pig in it.  I used metal gauge wire to wire them to the pole, but heavy twine would work as well.

At this point, the construction is done, and your smoker is complete! Spending less than half what a commercial smoker costs, you can now cook more than twice as much meat, if not more.

So now you need to order your pig or whatever else you feel like cooking (brisket, pork shoulder, sausage).  The quality of meat when you go to a local butcher blows away just about any supermarket I've seen, and usually the price is very reasonable as well.
Now that you have your choice of meat, you can do all sorts of things to prepare it for cooking.  In this case, I poked a couple slits in the meat of the pig (without puncturing the skin at all!!) and then covered it in Sonny's BBQ sauce.  Since then (these pictures were from a few years back) I've started brining my meat before I smoke it and haven't looked back.

Now it's time to smoke it.  Depending on what you are cooking, you're going to need between 3-6 bags of charcoal.  In these pictures I'm using regular ole briquette charcoals, but more recently have started using nothing but hardwood charcoal.  I get better flavor from it and there are no chemicals in it.  It's easiest to create a fire in the middle of the pit, and then using a shovel, spread the charcoal to the four corners.  This is key.  You want the pig to cook indirectly, and by putting it in the corners, you will make your life for the next several hours much easier.

While the fire is being lit, you want to prepare the pig in its cage.  It helps to have the butcher split the spine, but make sure the skin does not get split.
You'll want to place it in the cage, skin side down and then wire the open side of the cage shut.
Now that the fire is lit, the pig is wired in and placed on top of the cinder blocks, you need to cover the whole thing in aluminum foil and weigh the foil down.  From this point on, every 40 minutes you need to add charcoal to each corner.  A few pieces in each corner every 40 minutes will keep the temperature between 200-230.


For a pig that weighs 60-80 I like to cook them between 10-14 hours.  You'll want to flip it over after about 5-6 hours of cooking so the skin is now facing up.  It helps to have multiple people there to give you a hand.  Make sure you wear heat protective gloves cause it will be extremely hot.
After the cooking time is over, have two people hold the cage in the air while you spread an even layer of charcoal all over the bottom of the pit and then place the cage, skin side down, back on the pit.  You only need to leave it there for 10-15 minutes to crisp up the skin, and then let it sit for about 45 minutes before you dig in.  Most people like to just put the pig on a table with serving utensils and let people dig in.


Tip #1- If you use a thermometer to check for doneness, the thickest parts of the pig should register at 190 degrees F.

Tip #2- For the first 3 hours of cooking, I like to use wood chips that I have soaked in water or apple juice.  Simply drain off the liquid, and then add a handful to each corner right on top of the charcoals.

Tip #3- When adding charcoal, just remove the top 2 blocks from one of the narrow ends of the pit, and then drop or toss the charcoal into each corner.  It takes some practice, but helps keep the heat in the pit.

Tip #4- Have some wire cutters nearby once the pig comes off to help remove the binding from one side of the cage so you can get the pig out.  Also, have something big enough to place the pig on once it is done cooking!


ENJOY! If you have any questions please comment below!
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