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...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads
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C130Driver
Posted 1/6/2015 4:29 PM (#524951)
Subject: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Okay, before I pose this question, I want to get it out there that I know Heartfelt Beads are the best way to manage humidity in a humidor. I know all about them and how great they are, but as it happens I don't have them and while I plan to get some in the future, I do not have any at the moment nor will I in the immediate future. So with that in mind, I would like to hear your thoughts without the words Heartfelt Beads being said.

I purchased a desktop 75 count humidor about two months ago now. That said, it is larger than the average 75 count because it is a display humidor. (I posted a picture in my newbie intro post on page two if you'd like to see it.) When I bought it the place was running a special and where they threw in the Humi-Care Black Ice and a digital hygrometer. Being new to cigars I had not yet heard of Heartfelt Beads but knew I wanted more than the standard humidifier and I also knew I needed a digital hygrometer. I have read multiple other posts across the interwebs as a whole where people have had a lot of success with Black Ice. I have been fighting over humidity though for most of the time. It would consistently creep up to 73% or so and I found myself leaving the door open nearly daily. Finally, I put my cigars in a Ziplock with one of the four pies of the Black Ice jar and my digital hygrometer and let my humidor sit open for several hours. Interestingly enough, it held a perfect 70% (yes I know many people recommend something less than 70% but 70% is what Black Ice advertising maintaining and considering how high it's getting 70% seems pretty go for starters).

At first I thought I had solved the problem because when I reintroduced my humidifier and hygrometer the humidity slowly (over several days) crept up to 68% - 70% and maintained it perfectly for about a week. Then it was back to it's old tricks.

This time I decided maybe I had over hydrated the gel in the humidifier so I took the humidifier out and emptied the jars' contents onto some paper towels to remove any excess water, put it back into the jars and put the jars back into the humidor. Again, this seem to solve the problem for about a week. This was the week prior to me leaving for the holidays for a two week time period. The day before I left I noticed it was starting to creep up to about 72%. I was concerned about leaving them, but really had not choice so I crossed my fingers and away I went.

I got back on Sunday and the humidity had fallen to only 60%. I know this isn't terribly low, but obviously not desirable. I immediately thought maybe I had removed too much water from the humidifiers. So, I filled them about halfway and let them sit for a full 24 hours. The humidity did not budge. Not one percent. So I began doing some research on the internets and found a few suggestions including dry air caused by the heater and "leaking" seal caused by dry air coming in contact with the seal. I can't do the light test because my humidor is mostly glass and I got to thinking the air did seam a little dry. Also, on my own I got to thinking I had not rehydrated the stock humidifier in some time and maybe somehow that had been the culprit. So, and this is where I made my mistake, I did two things. First, I live in a dorm on base so I started up the shower and let it run for a bit to hydrate the air in my room. Being a one room dorm, the shower in more than capable of significantly raising the humidity of the entire space. Second, I rehydrated the stock humidifier. Last night the humidity started rising and as of this morning it was 66%. When I got back tonight it is up to 69%. Obviously if it stays put I'll be happy but I suspect we are headed back in the other direction. I could kill myself for not doing each action independently so as to know which affected the change.

So what are your thoughts? I simply refuse to believe a humidor cannot be kept withing a more precise RH range than 60 - 75% by any means other than HF Beads. While I concede they are likely the best option, they cannot be the only way it can be done. People have had humidors for years and years. What have you done to find success? What am I missing?
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Mojo66
Posted 1/6/2015 5:01 PM (#524961 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Boveda packs ?
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C130Driver
Posted 1/6/2015 5:03 PM (#524962 - in reply to #524961)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Mojo66 - 1/6/2015 5:01 PM

Boveda packs ?


I'm not familiar with those, what are they?
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sar127
Posted 1/6/2015 5:06 PM (#524964 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Does anyone else reddit? I think the first post needs a "tldr" lol.

Edited by sar127 1/6/2015 5:07 PM
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DonM
Posted 1/6/2015 5:11 PM (#524966 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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it takes awhile to stabilize any humidor until it is seasoned and you fine tune the humidifier you are using. Is your hygrometer calibrated? Sometimes that can be the culprit. Humidors with glass are notorious for having bad seals and causing humidity problems. Seasoning your humidor with no leaks and allowing your cigars time to adjust will take time. I prefer 65 % RH myself

I am not much help, because my next suggestion would be.....because I use them and have no problems. But that isn't what you wanted to hear
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Camshaft83
Posted 1/6/2015 5:17 PM (#524968 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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http://www.bovedainc.com/
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bigjohn20081983
Posted 1/6/2015 5:37 PM (#524972 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Kitty litter
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DonM
Posted 1/6/2015 5:37 PM (#524973 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: RE: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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OK I checked the pic of your humidor and it is mostly glass. Is it near sunlight? Heat of the day will affect RH. Is your Hygrometer calibrated or did you do a salt test? With the limited amount of Spanish cedar with the shelves, it will be harder to season the humidor and maintain RH with less wood to hold moisture, which means you need a more stable humidifier. If you are experiencing too high of an RH, I would recommend taking one or more of the Black Ice pies out until you get closer to 65-68% RH. Boveda packs are another way of humidification but you still will be spending money. Another option is Kitty litter, here is some reading:

http://cigargeeks.com/community/boxx/knowledgebase.asp?iid=41&Cat=1


If all else fails, go to the one thing you didn't want us to say
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Kid Montana
Posted 1/6/2015 5:37 PM (#524974 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Worry if it gets up around 75% rh. Worry if it gets below 60% rh. Otherwise, don't worry. Let it float around because the temperature of your house, the RH of your house, the phase of the moon, and the alignment of the planets and the number of cigars in the humidor all affect RH.
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Camshaft83
Posted 1/6/2015 6:05 PM (#524982 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Hey Kegs I will have something in the mail tomorrow for you. Wait a couple days and keep an eye out for it to get to you. Don't go spend money on a bunch of stuff yet.

Edited by Camshaft83 1/6/2015 6:06 PM
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Vroomp
Posted 1/6/2015 6:26 PM (#524987 - in reply to #524982)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Camshaft83 - 1/6/2015 8:05 PM Hey Kegs I will have something in the mail tomorrow for you. Wait a couple days and keep an eye out for it to get to you. Don't go spend money on a bunch of stuff yet.

 Are you sending him a chicken foot, raw potato, hair from a rabid dog, and owl feathers?

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Camshaft83
Posted 1/6/2015 7:31 PM (#525001 - in reply to #524987)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Vroomp - 1/6/2015 7:26 PM

Camshaft83 - 1/6/2015 8:05 PM Hey Kegs I will have something in the mail tomorrow for you. Wait a couple days and keep an eye out for it to get to you. Don't go spend money on a bunch of stuff yet.

 Are you sending him a chicken foot, raw potato, hair from a rabid dog, and owl feathers?





How did you know?
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C130Driver
Posted 1/6/2015 8:19 PM (#525006 - in reply to #524966)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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DonM - 1/6/2015 5:11 PM

it takes awhile to stabilize any humidor until it is seasoned and you fine tune the humidifier you are using. Is your hygrometer calibrated? Sometimes that can be the culprit. Humidors with glass are notorious for having bad seals and causing humidity problems. Seasoning your humidor with no leaks and allowing your cigars time to adjust will take time. I prefer 65 % RH myself

I am not much help, because my next suggestion would be.....because I use them and have no problems. But that isn't what you wanted to hear


I appreciate the feedback. Yeah my hygrometer is calibrated. Well, actually it is supposed to never need calibrating, but I did the salt test to check it because I am a skeptic by nature. It tested good. It isn't that I don't want to hear HF beads will do the trick, just that after hours of searching forums about this topic that's the only answer I was able to find, because it is what EVERYONE would say. I guess I just felt I wanted to contribute something new to the conversation. That and I'm not in a place to blow another $50 on my humidor at the moment. It is my long-term plan but right now I'm looking for a shorter-term solution.

Edited by C130Driver 1/6/2015 8:31 PM
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C130Driver
Posted 1/6/2015 8:29 PM (#525008 - in reply to #524973)
Subject: RE: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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DonM - 1/6/2015 5:37 PM

OK I checked the pic of your humidor and it is mostly glass. Is it near sunlight? Heat of the day will affect RH. Is your Hygrometer calibrated or did you do a salt test? With the limited amount of Spanish cedar with the shelves, it will be harder to season the humidor and maintain RH with less wood to hold moisture, which means you need a more stable humidifier. If you are experiencing too high of an RH, I would recommend taking one or more of the Black Ice pies out until you get closer to 65-68% RH. Boveda packs are another way of humidification but you still will be spending money. Another option is Kitty litter, here is some reading:

http://cigargeeks.com/community/boxx/knowledgebase.asp?iid=41&Cat=1


If all else fails, go to the one thing you didn't want us to say


It does sit near my window but being aircrew and having required crew rest periods the Air Force has been gracious to provide us with the best blackout curtains I've ever seen. I typically keep these closed, but not always. I suppose I could trying moving it to a different location.

I read up on the Kitty Litter. That's actually quite interesting I had no idea it could be used in such a manner. Someone else mentioned that earlier too so I owe them a thanks as well.
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C130Driver
Posted 1/6/2015 8:36 PM (#525010 - in reply to #525001)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Camshaft83 - 1/6/2015 7:31 PM

Vroomp - 1/6/2015 7:26 PM

Camshaft83 - 1/6/2015 8:05 PM Hey Kegs I will have something in the mail tomorrow for you. Wait a couple days and keep an eye out for it to get to you. Don't go spend money on a bunch of stuff yet.

 Are you sending him a chicken foot, raw potato, hair from a rabid dog, and owl feathers?





How did you know?


That's great news I've always wanted a chicken foot! Joking aside thank you very much. I have been blown away by the folks of this community and I've only just begun. I have done the forum thing on some other pilot sights but it seems like everyone is always a jerk. Ha! What's that say about my chosen profession? At any rate I truly appreciate everyone's help and especially you hooking me up. I'll keep you all posted and if anyone has any other suggestions, ideas, comments, etc... keep 'em coming.
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1029henry
Posted 1/6/2015 9:29 PM (#525019 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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First, thanks for your service keeping our country safe.

I abandoned wood humidors about 5 years ago since the RH fluctuated wildly, and now use plastic Rubbermaid containers. I place some scrap Spanish cedar inside, and place a couple 65% Boveda packs in the container, then fill with cigars. No seasoning, no fuss, no muss. Keeps a perfect 65-68% at all times. Doesn't look as elegant, but ya can't beat the price. Good luck.
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shakinghorizons
Posted 1/7/2015 6:31 AM (#525028 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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HCM beads would do the trick as well - that is what I use in my wineador.
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The Burn Ward
Posted 1/7/2015 8:07 AM (#525032 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Heartfelt beads!!!
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The Burn Ward
Posted 1/7/2015 8:10 AM (#525033 - in reply to #525032)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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The Burn Ward - 1/7/2015 11:07 AM

Heartfelt beads!!!


Actually never used them. Boveda is the $h!t. I use 65, 67, and 69. Make sure you only use the same RH in a single humidor or else the low will dry out the high.
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Ken Kelley
Posted 1/7/2015 8:42 AM (#525039 - in reply to #525019)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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1029henry - 1/6/2015 12:29 PM

First, thanks for your service keeping our country safe.

I abandoned wood humidors about 5 years ago since the RH fluctuated wildly, and now use plastic Rubbermaid containers. I place some scrap Spanish cedar inside, and place a couple 65% Boveda packs in the container, then fill with cigars. No seasoning, no fuss, no muss. Keeps a perfect 65-68% at all times. Doesn't look as elegant, but ya can't beat the price. Good luck.



Yup! The best way to go! Walmart carries some of my finest tupperdores. Stoke them up with a little bit of Exquisicat and you are good to go for as long as you want to go.

Kegs, ol' bud, you fukked up by buying a mostly glass humidor. The best advice I can give you is to give up your cultivated pilot persona and fling that thing as far as you can...after you take out all the cigars. Then go down to the nearest Walmart, admire the girls for a while, and then buy enough Rubbermaid flat cake boxes with that red lid that seals real good to hold all your stash. Then find a Petsmart store and spend a few bucks on a big jug of unscented Exquisicat Kitty Litter to keep your Rubbermaid humidors humidified with the addition of a little distilled water. Surely, as a USAF Pi-lot you can figure out the details.

So it's really up to you. Do you want to fukk around with the humidity stuff in the glass box or keep your cigars fresh, safe, and smokable?

By the way....70% is too high for smokable cigars. Keep the humidity down to about 65% and you will be much happier with the burns and the smokes. The Exquisicat in the Rubbermaid containers will do that job perfectly. Or....you can just ignore the advice you get from all these people and keep piddling with your stuff to your heart's content.
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Chip Lemaster
Posted 1/7/2015 9:38 AM (#525051 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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I use the Beads in my small 50 count humidor but I'm in and out of it a lot so it doesn't matter really, however the big ones, yes ones,,,lol I went with the Kitty Litter,,, have no regrets but then I'm only five months in on the bigger coolidors,,, best of luck which ever route you go,,,
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Camshaft83
Posted 1/7/2015 11:14 AM (#525074 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Here is a USPS tracking number for you Kegs.

9114 9999 4431 3673 4959 65

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Cigary
Posted 1/7/2015 11:29 AM (#525084 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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I'll beat the drum about KL and tupperware as I have used it for years and it is far better a media system as anything out there...and I've used them all. Tupperware as was said isn't a glamorous looking thing but it sure works as good as a $1000 wood humidor and as long as you line the bottom of it with cedar then you are going to experience a RH of which you don't have to monitor or have to play with...KL is a great media and I wrote a "How To" as far as set up on our site.
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Ken Kelley
Posted 1/7/2015 12:28 PM (#525110 - in reply to #525084)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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Cigary - 1/7/2015 2:29 AM

I'll beat the drum about KL and tupperware as I have used it for years and it is far better a media system as anything out there...and I've used them all. Tupperware as was said isn't a glamorous looking thing but it sure works as good as a $1000 wood humidor and as long as you line the bottom of it with cedar then you are going to experience a RH of which you don't have to monitor or have to play with...KL is a great media and I wrote a "How To" as far as set up on our site.


Do you have an extra drum stick so I can join you?

Now really, why pay all that money for a fancy humidor when you can get a perfectly good container for less than ten bucks and keep it humidified with a handful of KL that might cost you about ten cents? You can get the Spanish Cedar from cigar boxes for nothing more than buying the cigars. I check my humidity levels in all the tupperdores I have scattered around the house about once a week and they just don't vary by much. If one gets a bit low I pull out the syringe and give the KL a little squirt of DW and within 24 hours it's back to boring normal 65%.

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C130Driver
Posted 1/7/2015 4:18 PM (#525150 - in reply to #524951)
Subject: Re: ...And Don't Say Heartfelt Beads



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I hate to admit this, but with all the points you make, it's a hard argument to win. The tupperware route certainly takes the cake in both the effective and the low maintenance categories. If I'm being honest with myself, while smoking the cigars is certainly the best part, I think part of the enjoyment comes from the humidor too. It's pretty cool when a friend comes by and sees it because it always starts a conversation. Either he's never been over before and so he asks about it, or he enjoys the hobby too and we end up talking about it for a bit. And, I enjoy looking at them myself. Part of the enjoyment comes from looking at them and looking forward to smoking them. I know this probably sounds pretty corny. I guess at the end of the day I will do what works, I'm just hoping I can make this work. I'm okay if it takes more effort than the minimum necessary, but obviously there is a threshold too. At some point I will move on to a different storage method, but I just don't think I'm there yet. Don't get me wrong I'm not discounting your advice I truly believe you are right, but what can I say I guess I'm stubborn. You can all tell me you told me so later.
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