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More Humidity Level Issues

I'm a newbie and I'll start by apoligizing if this is something that's been talked about to death, here's my issue... I have a Yukon 35 to 50 count Humidor I bought online. I don't think I seasoned it correctly by just using the shot glass/distilled water approach, because I couldn't get it above 60 degrees on my digital hygrometer. I bought the Humi-Care Crystal Gel and it arrived in the mail the other day. Because I couldn't get it about 60 degrees I took out my 25 cigars and put them in a cigar box with the Crystals and have tried to reseason my humidor with the shot glass/distilled water again and still can't get it above 60 degrees. What am I doing wrong ? Should I put the cigars back in the humidor with the crystals and let it set for a few days and not worry if it gets over 60 ? I've been reading that in the winter it's tougher to keep the humidity up. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  • nightmaremike31nightmaremike31 Posts: 720
    Have you salt tested your hygrometer to see how accurate it is?
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    First question I would have: are you sure your hygrometer is calibrated correctly? If not, you should perform the salt test and calibrate it - then check your humi again.

    Then I would check the seal on your humi - the dollar bill test will tell you if you have some seal issues.

    If you've done both of these, and you're still low, what I would recommend is that you very lightly wipe down the humi with distilled water, and leave the shot glass in it for a couple days. See where that gets you.
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • camgfscamgfs Posts: 968

    Hi, and Welcome to the forum (and cigars).

    One thing to do is to make sure your hygrometer is reading correctly. The best way is what is called the "salt test" as follows based on a website search:

    Luckily, as nature would have it, when salt and water (NaCl and H2O for you studious types), are in a saturated solution at equilibrium, the resultant humidity is 75%. This gives a fantastic reference point to calibrate our hygrometer. There is an easy way to determine if your hygrometer is accurate. Here's the procedure you should use: you need a ziploc bag, a screw-on beer bottle cap (or other small container) a small amount of salt (regular 'ole table salt), and water.

    Place the salt in the bottle cap (or other small container).

    Dampen the salt with water. Do not put so much in that the salt gets "sloppy". You want a damp pile of salt in the bottle cap.

    Place both the hygrometer and the bottle cap full of damp salt in the ziploc bag and seal it well. (It is important not to let air on or out while the test is going on.)

    Keep it like this for over 8 hours.

    After 8 hours in the damp salt environment, the actual humidity inside the bag will be 75%. Compare it to your hygrometer, your hygrometer should also read 75%. If not, you will then know exactly how far off your hygrometer is. If it's off, note the amount and direction that it actually reads and be sure to add or subtract that amount when reading the hygrometer. If the hygrometer has a control to adjust it (either the needle or the display), you can set the hygrometer to 75% immediately after the test.

    You should salt test your hygrometer every 6 months or so to be sure of the accuracy.

    If your hygrometer is reading correctly, just be patient. Winter is a real bummer when it comes to humidity. Add another shot glass to your humidor if you have the room, and LEAVE IT CLOSED FOR A FEW DAYS IF POSSIBLE. Opening the humi to check it regularly will let the humidity out every time. You may even see the RH drop within seconds of opening the lid.

    Let us know if any of this info helps.

  • Thanks everybody, I have not tried the salt test, but I will now. I have tried the dollar bill test and it seems to have a good seal. I have one of the Springfield hygrometers I got at Wal Mart. I appreciate all the help, I just don't want to do anything wrong and screw up the cigars.
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    I have one of the Springfield hygrometers I got at Wal Mart..
    This may be your problem right here. I have the same Springfield, and have recommended it multiple times as mine is spot-on. Others, however, have not had the same luck with the Springfields - I think I've heard up to 18% deficiency from someone. I don't recall if Cam mentioned how long to run the salt test, but definitely give it at least 24 hours to be sure.
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • Gotcha Hays, I'll leave it for at least 24 hours and see what happens.
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    Oh, and welcome to the forum by the way! Don't forget to check my Cigar.com California Mega-Herf thread in the General Discussion section :-)
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • FubarFubar Posts: 33
    Don't think you can cheat and use a crystal, tube or humidor pack. Not saying you or will. Because I did that and found out it wasn't a good way to check the hygrometer. So now I have to redo it with salt and water.
  • So I did the Salt Test on my Springfield hygro and left if for 24 hours, I just checked it and it's at 62%, at one point last night it was at 69% so I thought it was going to move up to 75%, so where do I go from here ? Do I buy a new one ? Looks like this one is not working properly, or do I try the test again ?
  • FubarFubar Posts: 33
    On the back should be a place / thing you can turn to adjust the needle. Adjust to 75% as soon as you remove it from the bag. Then do another test dumping out the salt and using a new bag, you might be able to use the old. Oh and welcome.
  • Thanks for the Welcome Fubar, it's a digital one and it doesn't have a place to adjust the reading to 75.
  • FubarFubar Posts: 33
    I would test again. If for the second time it shows anything below 75, since it cannot be adjusted I would just write on the back or make a note how off it is. So 75 (!) - 62 (*) == 13 so it 13% off. So @ 62 it really 75%. ! = What the salt solution will make. * = is what the meter is reading. I hope that kind of makes sense.
  • nightmaremike31nightmaremike31 Posts: 720
    Look what I found, THIS is a video of how to do a salt test on your hygrometer. It's not exactly what I do, but it's nice to see someone explain it.
  • Great video. I get what you are saying Fubar. I went and bought another one at Walmart and I'm doing the salt test on both of them right now to see which one is more accurate.
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    Regarding the salt test and the Springfield hygro - some of them just aren't accurate, unfortunately, and that one isn't adjustable. It's the downside of it being so cheap. You can either buy a more expensive adjustable one, or make a note of the inaccuracy and just work with it.
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • So the Springfield hygro measured 62% again with the salt test (I'm tossing it) and the new one I bought yesterday is reading 66%. (I can't manually set this one either) I'm gonna use that one. So if I understand correctly it's off 9% from 75%, so say it reads 60% in my humidor it's really 69% correct ?
  • FubarFubar Posts: 33
  • ThewelderThewelder Posts: 682 ✭✭
    Thanks for the video. I actually did a salt test correctly for the first time. I had been adding to much water to my salt mixture and thought my hygrometers we off. Thank god for the beads keeping my gars in the right humidity. Found out I'm actually only off plus two.
  • So now that I've got my hygrometer set, it's been reading 74% humidity, is that too high ? My other smaller humidor with just a pillow in it is reading 66%
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Depends on your tastes; many people prefer cigars kept at 75%, but most of the forum-goers here prefer around 65% for a looser draw. Did you read the hygrometer after charging your beads, or after a day or two of sitting in the humi? I find that when I charge my beads, I have a tendency to overcharge them, so my humidity typically spikes for a day or two
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