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Need help with my humidors
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btango
Posted 3/15/2015 6:04 AM (#544758)
Subject: Need help with my humidors


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Hello Everybody,

I have two humidors and, as you may tell by the number of posts I have previously made, I'm definitely a newbie. I need some help with my humidors. My uncle was the individual who gave me the two desktop humidors around November 2014 as he was asked not to keep them in the house anymore. I was looking around at the time for buying my first humidor but nonetheless, my uncle thought I would be able to take good care of them. They were both empty at the time but to get me started, we went for a couple of drinks, sparked a Cohiba Siglo III each and he started me off with a Cohib Siglo III and Montecristo No 2.

The first humidor is a cherry oak 100 count humidor with Spanish cedar construction and a built in analog hygrometer. The basic humidifier which came with the humidor is a sponge or foam one. It also has two dividers and one tray for it. The other humidor, a 50 count mahogany and Spanish cedar constructed humidor, has a removable analog hygrometer. For the first couple of months, everything was fine and dandy. Hygrometer was reading 70%, Cohib and Cristo was sitting in there nicely, I was all giddy and ready to start collecting. And then winter happened...

My hygrometers, the built in one for the first humidor and the analog humidor in the second, both went out of wack. The built in one fluctuated between 60-80% and the other was 70% but I noticed the stogies were looking rather dry. By then, I have collected about 10 other stogies from buddies and purchased some of my own. I went to the local tobacconist and picked up a Brigham digital hygrometer, a Brigham 100 count crystal humidifier, a Brigham 50 count crystal humidifier, and 8oz bottle of Brigham PG. I also consulted the local tobacconist as to what I should do with the fluctuating temperatures. I brought in my removable analog hygrometer to the tobacconist to be calibrated and also calibrated the new digital one to match their in-store walk-in humidor room. The digital one was spot on but the analog was out of wack by 15%. They were kind enough to calibrate it for me and I brought it home.

The advice the local tobacconist provided me was that I had far less stogies to accommodate the large 100 count humidor and that I shouldn't be using that one. I should proceed to use the 50 count until I have a large enough collection to use the 100 count. They were very friendly, helpful and insightful whenever I went in that I didn't think I had a reason to doubt them, nor do I think I have a reason to doubt them now. Online peer reviews also seem to suggest that they are also very helpful and insightful with helping customers of all kinds and was given sparkling reviews.

Being the newbie that I am, I did some research online, here included, to see what I can do to season the humidors and maintain it for the winter. Through my research, it appeared that doing a light wipe of the cider linings with distilled water should be avoided as it can warp it. I found an alternative solution online and it seems to be working. Essentially, the solution would be to use a new sponge and distilled water to season them. Article including Youtube vid is found here: http://www.famous-smoke.com/cigaradvisor/how-to-season-a-humidor

I did as suggested, one humidor at a time, and was able to boost the readings to 70%. The 100 count read 70% consistently with the sponge method for a couple of weeks and figured it was time to remove the sponge and place the stogies in there for the time being as I season the 50 count to read 70% consistently. Using the digital hygrometer for the 100 count, with stogies in, humidifier filled with distilled water, the reading started to drop to the 65%ish upon removal of the sponge. Since then, I placed a new sponge in the 100 count and placed the ten stogies on the tray to hydrate them a wee bit for the time being while I season the 50 count as per the tobacconist's advice.

I need some serious help. I have no idea if this is going to work and I keep on getting erratic readings on both hygrometers in both humidors. The analog in the 50 count is reading at 70% sponge in and the 100 count is reading 65-70% with the stogies in, sponge in. Am I doing anything wrong? How long should the process for the 50 count take to stabilize? Is there anything else I can realistically do to maintain the 50 count humidor?

Please help me out fellow cigar geeks. I trust the local tobacconist but I'm starting to have my doubts. There's a ton of knowledge among the wise individuals here and I would love your insight, advice, and input. Anything is greatly appreciated! Please help...

PS. Sorry about the essay lol... I would like to provide as much detail as possible.

Thanks in advance!
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DonM
Posted 3/15/2015 8:17 AM (#544771 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: RE: Need help with my humidors



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I think you are on the right track, make sure the humidor is seasoned and forget about the analog hygrometer. It does take time to season the humidor and get it stabilized once the cigars have been in there for awhile. Patience is a virtue.

If you do not have a lot of cigars, I would concentrate on the 50 ct first and get it right. Humidors will hold a steadier humidity when full.

The last thing I would recommend is looking at your humidifiers. Do not get me wrong, PG solution works, but you will find most on this site use Boveda packs, Heartfelt beads or Kitty litter for humidification in desk top humidors. Any of those will keep your humidor @ whatever RH it is designed for using distilled water and will absorb or emit humidity as needed. 70% RH is acceptable, but most prefer closer to 65%, The cigars smoke well with no burn or draw issues at the lower RH. Good luck to you in your new venture!
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Camshaft83
Posted 3/15/2015 9:07 AM (#544772 - in reply to #544771)
Subject: RE: Need help with my humidors



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DonM - 3/15/2015 9:17 AM

I think you are on the right track, make sure the humidor is seasoned and forget about the analog hygrometer. It does take time to season the humidor and get it stabilized once the cigars have been in there for awhile. Patience is a virtue.

If you do not have a lot of cigars, I would concentrate on the 50 ct first and get it right. Humidors will hold a steadier humidity when full.

The last thing I would recommend is looking at your humidifiers. Do not get me wrong, PG solution works, but you will find most on this site use Boveda packs, Heartfelt beads or Kitty litter for humidification in desk top humidors. Any of those will keep your humidor @ whatever RH it is designed for using distilled water and will absorb or emit humidity as needed. 70% RH is acceptable, but most prefer closer to 65%, The cigars smoke well with no burn or draw issues at the lower RH. Good luck to you in your new venture!


x2 DonM pretty much hit it on the head I think.
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terrys1991
Posted 3/15/2015 9:17 AM (#544774 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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X2 what Don said.
I have a 100 CT desktop sounds like it's very similar to the one you have, I had problems with maintaing humidity and found I didn't have a good seal I checked by closing the lid on a piece of paper could pull it out with little or no resistance, added a strip of painters tape along the top & folded it down on the inside edge this improved the seal & maintains a more constant humidity now
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nirab
Posted 3/15/2015 9:22 AM (#544776 - in reply to #544774)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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What everyone said is correct. I would suggest going with Boveda packs, as I find them to be the easiest way to keep humidity in a small to medium sized humidor. I would also invest in a couple of Xikar digital hygrometers to make your maintenance super easy. Enjoy, and welcome to Cigar Geeks...from beeuutaful Buda, Texas!!
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Mojo66
Posted 3/15/2015 10:19 AM (#544781 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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Good answers can't do better. Do make sure the humidors seal correctly (light test, paper test etc.), use the smallest until full but keep the other one ready and stabilized as much as possible. Buy more cigars to fill them both at 75% or more as it helps to stabilize. Salt test your hygrometers. But more importantly, enjoy smoking as many cigars as you can and stick around here. You soon should have a storage issue instead of an RH level one

Welcome to CG, tell us more about yourself, what you like, what you don't...
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sjn1117
Posted 3/15/2015 10:21 AM (#544782 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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Don is right on. I personally use KL in most of my humis but Boveda is hard to beat in smaller boxes.
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nkowal
Posted 3/15/2015 11:03 AM (#544790 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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You're in a similar climate to me, though a little more north. I keep my humidor and coolidor in the basement year-round to avoid temperature fluctuations. It says pretty consistent and I avoid the big issues with winter seasoning, as long as I add more humidification-devices (I use KL) come start of winter. Once spring/summer hits, I remove the extra.
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Cfickter
Posted 3/15/2015 11:47 AM (#544791 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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all good advise, but also what condition is the lid seal in? you may be getting these fluctuations because the lid is not sealing well against the case. Easy test can be as simple as how easy is it to lift the lid? if you can lift it using one finger with little pressure you may have a seal issue. Another test is to let the lid close on its own. Does it take an extra push to full close and seal? now this second method can be skewed if you have your humidification material attached to the lid.
also look for nicks or missing pieces in the seal.
Simple fix if it is not sealing right is to wipe the top of the case with distilled water to allow the wood in the seal lip to expand.
Otherwise what you have been told here is gold. Bovida packs work very well especially in the 50 - 100 ct range
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ebernabe
Posted 3/15/2015 12:38 PM (#544795 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors


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here is a link about seasoning a humidor: Seasoning a New Humidor.

Another link that may be useful: Calibrate your Hygrometer

Edited by ebernabe 3/15/2015 12:38 PM
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ntanner
Posted 3/15/2015 1:11 PM (#544796 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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I am a little surprised you are reading 70% with the sponge in the humi. I would think you would be more around 80% if you have a seasoning sponge in it. The sponge should sit in there and the RH should be hi for at least a couple of day's before returning to just you're regular humidification device and you should keep you're cigars in a tupperware with a boveda pack till you get the humi well seasoned. Patience is a virtue when it comes to getting a humidor in good working order.

Edited by ntanner 3/15/2015 1:11 PM
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sar127
Posted 3/15/2015 2:47 PM (#544813 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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X2 Boveda is literally the Set It and Forget It of humidifiers. Put two in ur 50ct and 3 in your 100ct, they should last 4-6 months if no seal problems. And that's it, you don't even a hygrometer!
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btango
Posted 3/15/2015 5:16 PM (#544826 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors


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Thanks for the insight everyone. I did forget to mention the tests I did for the seal. I did do a light test and the paper bill test. They seem quite tight and in order (although I would like the 100 ct seal to be wee bit thicker). I did try the finger test that Cfickter recommended. I'm going to use distilled water on the 100 ct as he suggested as well as using the Boveda packs.

DonM, thanks for the piece of gold and thanks for all of your help everybody!!! Your advice is much appreciated!
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1029henry
Posted 3/15/2015 6:56 PM (#544842 - in reply to #544796)
Subject: Re: Need help with my humidors



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ntanner - 3/15/2015 1:11 PM

I am a little surprised you are reading 70% with the sponge in the humi. I would think you would be more around 80% if you have a seasoning sponge in it. The sponge should sit in there and the RH should be hi for at least a couple of day's before returning to just you're regular humidification device and you should keep you're cigars in a tupperware with a boveda pack till you get the humi well seasoned. Patience is a virtue when it comes to getting a humidor in good working order.


First, welcome to CG.
Ntanner is correct. Also, if you kept your sticks in a Tupperware with a Boveda pack or two, you can keep them in there indefinitely. I find the Boveda packs last for many months, and the Tupperware works waaaaay better for cigar storage than a wood humidor. Doesn't look fancy, but is much more functional.
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appollo
Posted 3/16/2015 5:28 AM (#545876 - in reply to #544758)
Subject: RE: Need help with my humidors



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You live in the same climate as I do.In the winter time the air is very dry here.I have 3 humidors and which are harder to keep at the desired level.I am surprised it goes up mine go down 2 or 3 points from 69 to 65 or 66 which is really not to much of an issue.I use heart felt beads in my 2 large humidors one is 175ct and a 400ct.and both go down in the winter time.They seem to do a great job you can buy them direct from heart felt beads
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