Establishing/Maintaining Humidity In A New Humidor

All right, so I've been a cigar aficionado for a few years. But I've always just bought a handful of cigars each week, would smoke them, and then go get more. Never had a humidor, and never bothered.

However, for Christmas, I received a nice 50 count (I think) humidor from the family. I calibrated the hygrometer, and did a fairly **** job at it I might add. I was unaware about things like seasoning the humidor and propylene glycol and such. Didn't really concern myself as I was still just buying a few here and there.

Recently, I've gotten into buying boxes of my favorites and wanted to properly set up and use my humidor. And I've run into issues I'm hoping someone can help me with. I took the time to season the humidor this time.

-I put my analog hygrometer that came with, in a glass dish with a shotglass containing the salt/water mixture, and sealed it in. Waited the 8 hours or so, and it was solidly registering 70-75% after that, so I put it back in my humidor.

-I used distilled water from a Brita filter system I have, and used a small sponge that came with the humidor to lightly dampen all the interior wooden surfaces, then dampened the sponge again, placing it on a Ziploc bag inside, and closed the humidor for 24 hours. I checked the reading that morning, about 12 hours later, and it was about 65%, and after the 24 hours passed, it was reading ~70-75% again. Repeated the process another two nights, as I was told 2-3 times would do it, and after the third night, it was still solidly reading where it should be.

I placed all my cigars inside, and the humidity plummeted. It was staying at 55-60% and through keeping a wet sponge in and adding water to the small circle humidifier, I've managed to get it just over 60% but can't seem to get it any higher. So, any tips or tricks or things I've done wrong here? Could really use some help.

Thanks.

Comments

  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    I will bump a seasoning thread for you my friend.
  • Much appreciated. Read through it and I'm intrigued/perplexed. Cat litter? Really? I can say I've never heard that before. So you wet the cat litter, and that is what provides the moisture and controls the Rh? Just seems contradictory at first glance. But I'm not against trying it.

    It's just a little frustrating to have tried to season the thing, and now it's hovering low (to me) at 65% when I'd like it at around 72%.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    You can use kitty litter, humidity beads, or gel. Just do not use the little green things that come in humi's. It's not so much the litter or beads provides the humidity, more that it regulates it. Once you get it going, honestly I rarely spray them. I actually just took mine out and am letting it dry to bring rh down as I am sitting at 71-72 and that's mold territory.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,497 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I recently did the cat litter in a coolidor, and it sits right at 70%.

    you mentioned you salt tested your hygro, and it sounds as if its in the ballpark, but a little low. That puts your 60% read humidity in the low to mid 60's, which is actually within the realm of good cigar conditions. I prefer 65%. I'd spring for a digital hygro that can be calibrated to get a solid reading.

    Could be that the sticks were a little dry, and sucked up all your moisture. Smaller humidors are much slower to bounce back after a "shock.".

    Buying silica beads (same material as kitty litter) will save you many headaches in the future. They are "rated" for different humidity levels, and you simply throw em in and pretty much forget.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • This I didn't know. I always thought a 72% was good. I'll keep that in mind. And yeah, I'm in the process of picking up a digital hygro and thought I would give the humidity beads a shot, because like you said, the little green puck isn't worth much. I appreciate the help/advice.
  • Yeah I think that was what caused it, and have been hoping that once the sticks aren't as dry, it'll climb and balance. Definitely springing for the digital hygro though right now, actually. And based on yours and Catfish's recommendation, I'm going to give the beads a shot and see what happens. Especially since I've got a nice box of maduros en route and want to get my humidor ready.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Nothing wrong with putting them in Tupperware or a ziploc bag. Number one rule is be patient man... A good season takes time, there is not such thing as too long really. Out of every time I heard someone had an rh problem, seasoning was the issue.
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,262 ✭✭✭✭✭
    100% agree with everything Gray said.
    Especially these parts:
    Gray4lines:
    That puts your 60% read humidity in the low to mid 60's, which is actually within the realm of good cigar conditions. I prefer 65%.
    Yes ... your cigars will be fine, 60s won't hurt them.

    (Now if they were in the low 50s and you added them to a humi that was in the 70s you'd have issues due to the rapid change in RH. But slow, minor changes in RH is fine. So take a deep breath, all is well. lol)
    Gray4lines:
    Could be that the sticks were a little dry, and sucked up all your moisture. Smaller humidors are much slower to bounce back after a "shock."
    (Maybe I missed it, but how many cigars did you add to the humidor?)
    Whenever I add more than 5-10 cigars at a time to my smaller humidors I'll notice the RH drops a few % then slowly climbs back up within a day or two.

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The analogs hygrometer isn't very accurate. Get a digital one. Also it usually takes more than 8 hours to calibrate one. Usually over night. And it should read 75% on the nose after calibration, if not you need to adjust it to that or just do the math.
  • jfacianejfaciane Posts: 242
    grizzly_bearded:
    This I didn't know. I always thought a 72% was good. I'll keep that in mind. And yeah, I'm in the process of picking up a digital hygro and thought I would give the humidity beads a shot, because like you said, the little green puck isn't worth much. I appreciate the help/advice.
    First welcome to the forums. Second, or probably first again, get yourself some beads. I just switched to beads and I absolutely love them. I had the gel pucs before that and I was constantly added the propylene glycol mixture to it and it tends to ge expensive. With the beads all you need is distiller water which is about .68 cents a gallon. Don't keep a sponge in your humi when cigars are stored in it. Mold city my friend.
  • ehehatehehat Posts: 1,536 ✭✭
    Just be sure that if you go the kitty litter route that you get the right kitty litter (KL). 100% silica NON SCENTED. Not hard to find but can be disasterous if you get the wrong stuff. I use KL and it rocks... And saved me lots o' money (that I then spent on cigars).
  • Roberto99Roberto99 Posts: 1,077
    Everyone here is giving good advise. Just be careful to follow through on that advise because my guess is that the cigars were low humidity and once they catch up, if you keep using the foam, your humidity will skyrocket and you will have mold on your hands in no time.

    So yeah, get the beads or kl and the digital hygro and toss the foam. If your humi came with the foam puck you can throw out the foam and keep the plastic case to put your beads inside. In the meantime, open that thing up daily to check on the humidity or like catfish suggested move your cigars to a tupperware container until your humidor is 100% ready to go. And welcome to the forum.
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭
    grizzly_bearded:
    All right, so I've been a cigar aficionado for a few years. But I've always just bought a handful of cigars each week, would smoke them, and then go get more. Never had a humidor, and never bothered.

    However, for Christmas, I received a nice 50 count (I think) humidor from the family. I calibrated the hygrometer, and did a fairly **** job at it I might add. I was unaware about things like seasoning the humidor and propylene glycol and such. Didn't really concern myself as I was still just buying a few here and there.

    Recently, I've gotten into buying boxes of my favorites and wanted to properly set up and use my humidor. And I've run into issues I'm hoping someone can help me with. I took the time to season the humidor this time.

    -I put my analog hygrometer that came with, in a glass dish with a shotglass containing the salt/water mixture, and sealed it in. Waited the 8 hours or so, and it was solidly registering 70-75% after that, so I put it back in my humidor.

    -I used distilled water from a Brita filter system I have, and used a small sponge that came with the humidor to lightly dampen all the interior wooden surfaces, then dampened the sponge again, placing it on a Ziploc bag inside, and closed the humidor for 24 hours. I checked the reading that morning, about 12 hours later, and it was about 65%, and after the 24 hours passed, it was reading ~70-75% again. Repeated the process another two nights, as I was told 2-3 times would do it, and after the third night, it was still solidly reading where it should be.

    I placed all my cigars inside, and the humidity plummeted. It was staying at 55-60% and through keeping a wet sponge in and adding water to the small circle humidifier, I've managed to get it just over 60% but can't seem to get it any higher. So, any tips or tricks or things I've done wrong here? Could really use some help.

    Thanks.
    i will bite my tongue on some of this but here we go. First britta filters do not distill water! Second if you are thinking about buying boxes then a 50ct is no good! Second as said before toss the puck and buy a real humidification device! Personally I think 65 is just fine and don't get why 70rh is pushed so much in the cigar world. Go out and buy boveda packs and you really don't even need the hygro
    Money can't buy taste
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