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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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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crisp, Refreshing, and CHEAP!

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So if you are ever running low on cash, but have a desire to make your own beverages, what kind of options do you have?  Brewing beer at home is a remarkable way to save money over the commercial examples of beer you might brew, but batches can still cost upwards of $40-50.  Here's a much cheaper way to make an alcoholic beverage that will cost you under $5 per gallon!

There are many commercial examples of hard ciders available on the market, many of which are great, many of which taste terrible.  I decided to do a little experiment (mostly because I had the ingredients on hand!) and see how baker's yeast could be used to ferment cider.  Tonight, after a greuling day of class, this is what I will be combining to make 2 gallons of hard apple cider.

2 gallons good quality apple juice with no preservatives other than ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
1 packet of Fleischmann's Baker's Yeast
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups white table sugar

That's it! I'll be dissolving the sugars into about 1 cup of apple juice on the stove over low heat, and then combining all the ingredients into a fermenter.  The plan is to let it sit for 3 weeks and ferment completely, than bottle with priming sugar to make it a sparkling cider!  This recipe should turn out at about 7% ABV, and will cost less than $10 for the entire batch.  That comes out to about $0.50 per 12-oz bottle.  Not too shabby!

After it's finished I'll do a video review to let you know how it turns out just in time for the weather to start getting cooler.  Until next time,
Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Don't forget to check out our FREE Grain to Glass: Basics of Homebrewing DVD available on iTunes.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mans-cave/id447544605

Our Founder's bachelor Party is rapidly approaching! Have you shown him your support and appreciation for everything he's done to help get this site off the ground!  Don't wait another minute!
http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/3042

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brewing Beer for a Special Occasion

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As the best man of our Founder's wedding, I felt it appropriate that since we both love beer that I brew something for the groom and all of us groomsmen to enjoy the night of his bachelor party (and possibly the day of the wedding to help calm the nerves!).  With my 4 gallon brewing system, and the fact that I live several thousand miles from where the wedding will be, it seemed reasonable to me to brew a smaller batch of something and then ship the beer up the week before the big event. 

I started out by creating my own recipe for this undertaking that would do two things: mix in the interests of both the bride and groom, and show off my brewing prowess a little (Don't want to make bad beer or anything!).  After trying several beers to get an idea of where I wanted to go, and talking to the groom about what he would like, I ended up with this recipe for a Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale.  Bringing in the interests of the couple, I decided I would use 2 pounds of Georgia peaches to add some fermentable sugars to the beer.  This is the actual recipe for 3 gallons worth of beer:

Mash at 150 for 90 minutes.
- 7 lb American 2-row
- 8 oz Crystal 60L
60 minute boil.
At 60 min. add .75 oz Centennial Hops
At 15 min. add .25 oz Centennial Hops
At 15 min. add 2 lbs peaches

Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey Ale
At high krausen add 12 oz. honey.

To make this beer unique, I am going to bottle with champagne yeast so it will be even more appropriate for a celebration.

Let the boil begin!

This beer has pretty much finished fermentation and I will be bottling it next week with more pictures to come!  Then we'll open one up in October along with several other beers (including one recently brewed by the groom-to-be) on a special video review with both of us on screen!  Keep checking back for more information and pictures!

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Beer Review: Flying Fish Exit 4 American Tripel

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Just want to apologize for the lack of activity the past week or so.  Things have gotten quite hectic for both of us here, and we do our best to keep bringing fresh new content your way!  We've got a couple big ideas we're working up for new promotions so keep your eyes out for those, and in the meantime, grab a great beer and take some time to check out this new beer review.

Flying Fish Exit 4 is an American styled Tripel (a Belgian beer known for being crisp and fruity) and comes in several different size bottles.  The cost is not the cheapest of beers, but buying a six pack of this stuff is like buying a 12 pack of others because of the 9% ABV. 

Exit 4 pours a fairly clear golden beer, with a slight tint of orange in the color.  A thick white head develops but fades into just a little lacing left on the surface of the beer.  The aroma is mostly fruity, with a strong contribution from the American hops that are the departure from the usual style.  The taste follows the aroma, but with the added touch that the yeast brings with it.  The alcohol is clearly present, but not overpowering.  Although this brew is slightly undercarbonated for the style in my opinion, it is a pretty strong offering from this brewery.  Many people complain that it doesn't quite follow the style, but I guess that's what makes it American!

Rating-  8.5/10



Don't forget that our Founder's Bachelor Party is coming up soon, so help show him how you appreciate the site, and the hard work that he puts into it by buying him a drink or two!  Check out the link below to see more details.  The site uses PayPal so all of your transactions will be completely secure!
http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/3042

Our Grain to Glass: Basics of Homebrewing DVD is available both on iTunes, and on DVD at the links below.  At our online shop (link below), it says the cost is $6 but that is just for shipping, and the DVD is free!  If you download it, let us know what you think and pass it on to your friends and family! The DVD makes for a great present as well.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mans-cave/id447544605


http://www.themanscaveshop.webs.com

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fall is Right Around the Corner! And so is Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Beer!!

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We're already gettting excited! August has arrived without warning, which means that the chill of an early fall is coming soon.  Despite the highs of 100 nearly everyday, we're starting to get excited about the beer we'll be drinking when the weather takes a dip in cooler directions.  To prepare for the fall, it's about time that we start brewing our beers (if you haven't already) that we'll want to be drinking when the leaves change colors.  Here are two of our favorites, including a twist on the Oktoberfest style of beer that should make it easier to brew with the weather this hot right now!

Brewing an Oktoberfest Ale
The Oktoberfest Style is a beer that requires lagering at low temperatures for a longer period of time.  By using an ale yeast at the lower ends of the ale fermentation temperatures, you can still get that clean crisp flavor, without needing a ton of space in your fridge!

Mash at 153 degrees F
3 lbs 2-row malt
2 lbs Cara Munich Malt
1 lb Caravienne Malt
4 lbs Munich Light Malt

Hop Schedule
1 oz Tettnanger at 60 min
1/2 oz Hallertau at 15 minutes
1/2 Hallertau at 5 minutes

Yeast
Wyeast 1007 German Ale- Fermenting in the mid 60s will keep the flavor of this beer crisp and clean.


Brewing a Pumpkin Ale
There is a ton of debate about whether putting pumpkin in the mash actually does anything for the taste of the beer.  I say it doesn't hurt to put it in there, and two of my favorite pumpkin ales include it, so I'm going to as well! This is a perfect beer for Thanksgiving Day! Or Saturday afternoon football!

Mash at 153
9 lb 2-row malt
1 lb Crystal 60
8 oz Crystal 40
8 oz Victory Malt
6 lb Roasted Pumpkin

Hop Schedule
.25 oz Magnum at 60 min
.25 oz Sterling at 60 min
.25 oz Mt Hood at 60 min

Adjuncts
1 tsp cloves at 5 min
2 tsp cinnamon at 5 min
1 lb Brown sugar at 5 min
1 tsp nutmeg at 5 min
1 tsp Allspice at 5 min

Yeast
Wyeast Denny's Favorite 50 (1450)

So get started on these beers so the flavors can really meld together in time for your favorite fall activities!

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beer for Celebrations!

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With our Founder's wedding coming up in just two short months, I felt it was appropriate to take a look at several different beers that would be as appropriate to toast with as any bottle of champagne you can buy. Here are my top 5 choices for beers to replace that overpriced champagne at your wedding!  And if you're worried that your guests will be disappointed in not having bitter champagne to choke down with that smile, don't be...They might actually enjoy listening to the maid of honor ramble on for an hour before they get to eat!

Each of these 5 beers that are below are available in the same 750ml size bottle as most wines and champagne, and many of these are much cheaper than champagnes of average quality.  Whether or not you have something to celebrate, find these exceptional beers and give them a try.

#5- Blue Moon Grand Cru- ($7.99/ 750ml) If you enjoy Blue Moon Belgian White, this could be the one for you.  All the flavors you can expect from a Blue Moon product, and with the fast growing of Blue Moon's popularity, this beer would go over well with just about anyone who tries it.  Not going to stretch the boundaries of the beer world, but for a toasting beer it would do the trick very well.

#4- Samuel Adams Infinium- ($19.99/ 750ml) By far the most expensive bottle on this list, but if you are a die hard Samuel Adams fan, nothing else will do.  This beer is probably the closest thing to champagne on the list, and has garnered some negative attention for being too "boozy" to be displaying the greatest features of beer.  However, it could be just the blend to keep both beer lovers and champagne afficionados happy.

#3- Flying Fish Exit 4 American Trippel- ($9.99/ 750ml) The Americanized version of the Belgian trippel features more hops than is commonly seen in this style, but not to the point where it will overwhelm your guests.  It looks great in the glass, and the tropical overtones will help keep guests who aren't "beer" fans content with what they are drinking.

#2- North Coast Le Merle- ($7.99/ 750ml) This interesting take would be a great beer for a summer wedding to help keep things refreshing.  Brewed in the Saison style, the lemony and peppery notes are crisp and refreshing, and the higher carbonation gives it a champagne effect in the glass.

#1- Brooklyn Local 1- ($8.99/ 750ml) One of my all-time favorite beers, and the beer I will be buying as well as brewing a similar take of for our Founder's bachelor party.  Incredible clarity and carbonation make it look nearly identical to champagne, but with a smoother and creamy head on top.  Just enough fruity flavors and aromas to pair with the malts and contrast the tinge of alcohol you taste as this beer warms up.  By far the best American Belgian Ale I have ever tried, and possibly one of the best in the world.

Don't forget to check out our Grain to Glass: Basics of Homebrewing DVD on iTunes or available for FREE at www.themanscaveshop.webs.com.  Also, show our Founder your appreciation and buy him a drink or two for his upcoming Bachelor's Party!  Check out the details here... Founder's Bachelor Party

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Themanscave.org's Founders Bachelor Party

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You heard it! Our Founder is getting hitched and we want to send him out the right way!  Head over to our Pay It Square page here:

http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/3042

Each increment is $5 so send him a drink or two (or 10!) and leave him a message or advice and we'll be sure to pass it on and snap some pictures of him enjoying your drink!  Help us give him a once-in-a-lifetime experience and show him your appreciation for everything he does for you.  We'll be having the party in the beginning of October, but we wanted to give you all the time you needed to show him how much you love what he does for this website!
We're using Pay It Square to pull this off.  We love Pay It Square for both its convenience and absolute security for collecting money or donations through an online source! Check it out for our Founder's Bachelor Party, and give it a try the next time you need to collect money from people!

Cheers!
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