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First Humidor.. need some help

So I bought myself my first humidor last Thursday, just a small 20-25count one to start me off. I was told by the shop owner to lightly rub down the inside with a damp (not soaking) rag with distilled water, and then to soak the humidifier for about 15min. After that he told me to calibrate my hygrometer (analog) by soaking and ringing out paper towels and wrap them around it, and after about 20min said it should read 100 and if not to adjust it to that.

So now about a week later, I can't seem to get my humidity levels down. I took the humidor into the shop the other day to have him look at things and make sure it was all good, and he left my hygrometer in his humidor for awhile to see if it was accurate, and it wasn't far off, only a few degrees.

At the store it was sitting at about 75. I brought it home and it is up at around 80 and sometimes a bit more, so I have been both cracking it and opening it completely to try and let some air get at it.

Guy at the shop mentioned that my room might be too warm and it is anywhere between 68-72 normally. He said that it will just eventually go down and that the box is still seasoning. True?

Any thoughts?
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Comments

  • BamablowsBamablows Posts: 338
    Welcome to the forum! I am no expert on these things but i can point you in the right direction how to season your humidor . As far as i know 80+ is a bit much. You should probably take care of this issue before you put sticks in that high of a humidity as it will cause trouble with your cigars. Hope this helps!
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,434 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome SmokeWI. You have an interesting set of circumstances going for you. You should store your cigars in ziplock bags and make sure you get your humidor seasoned right before you put them back in your humidor. If it really is 80% humidity in your humidor you don't want your cigars in there. Your ambient room temps are fine. But your hygrometer may not be as accurate as it should be. There is another method you should try to test/calibrate it. Look up "salt test calibration". You can do the test inside of a ziplock bag. Here is a video that will explain the basic steps.





    Even before you salt test the hygrometer you should try removing the humidifier to see if that is the main problem. Soaking any type of humidifier is likely to over-saturate it. Try leaving the lid open for an hour or so and then close it up without the humidifier inside and see what readings you get after 12 hours.

    Please post back on this thread and let us know how it works out and if you want to ask us any more questions just fire away.

    If you would prefer to ditch your analog hydrometer, I would recommend an investment in a xikar. They are guaranteed. Just under $20 online with free shipping and super easy to calibrate. (XIKAR Digital Round Cigar Hygrometer 832XI)

    http://www.amazon.com/XIKAR-Digital-Round-Hygrometer-832XI/dp/B002V4EZUE/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1375851473&sr=1-2

  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Alright thanks guys so far for the info / advice. I just took the humidifier out and marked the reading at 80 exactly. I will be posting the readings in about 5 hours, before I head to work and then later again this evening when I get home. Thanks!
  • edelrionycedelrionyc Posts: 361 ✭✭✭
    Do you have cigars in the humidor? Cigars absorb alot of the humidity and help bring it down.
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    I did yes, for about a day and a half. Still sat at 80
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Not a fan of double posting but after reading the 102 things you should know thread, I am kinda debating whether or not I will eventually need / want a bigger humidor. And with that in mind, do you guys have any suggestions of one to get online? The store I bought my previous one from had to order it special for me because they don't much because its such a small store. I went to another b&m about an hour away and their cheapest one was $350.. I was considering the steampunk 50ct that ccom has but haven't found any reviews on it. I think I would want to keep it around a 50count box
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    SmokeWI:
    Not a fan of double posting but after reading the 102 things you should know thread, I am kinda debating whether or not I will eventually need / want a bigger humidor. And with that in mind, do you guys have any suggestions of one to get online? The store I bought my previous one from had to order it special for me because they don't much because its such a small store. I went to another b&m about an hour away and their cheapest one was $350.. I was considering the steampunk 50ct that ccom has but haven't found any reviews on it. I think I would want to keep it around a 50count box
    First off, check my humidor seasoning thread, tons of good info in there, and you really need to do this properly, otherwise using cigars to stabilize humidity will ruin your stash. As far as a humi goes, if you want a 50, buy a 100. Go big...you will need it... Talk to anyone here, they will all laugh about the 50 they bought...then the 100...then the 300...then the coolers...then the wineadors...
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    catfishbluezz:
    SmokeWI:
    Not a fan of double posting but after reading the 102 things you should know thread, I am kinda debating whether or not I will eventually need / want a bigger humidor. And with that in mind, do you guys have any suggestions of one to get online? The store I bought my previous one from had to order it special for me because they don't much because its such a small store. I went to another b&m about an hour away and their cheapest one was $350.. I was considering the steampunk 50ct that ccom has but haven't found any reviews on it. I think I would want to keep it around a 50count box
    First off, check my humidor seasoning thread, tons of good info in there, and you really need to do this properly, otherwise using cigars to stabilize humidity will ruin your stash. As far as a humi goes, if you want a 50, buy a 100. Go big...you will need it... Talk to anyone here, they will all laugh about the 50 they bought...then the 100...then the 300...then the coolers...then the wineadors...
    Problem I think with going that big, right now at least, is that I'm just a college kid that enjoys cigars. At the rate that I buy cigars, it would take me about a year to fill a 50 and be smoking as well. If I can find a 100 for the same price (or close to it) as a 50 then I would consider it, so long as I'm not losing quality.
  • maymgmaymg Posts: 47
    SmokeWI:
    catfishbluezz:
    SmokeWI:
    Not a fan of double posting but after reading the 102 things you should know thread, I am kinda debating whether or not I will eventually need / want a bigger humidor. And with that in mind, do you guys have any suggestions of one to get online? The store I bought my previous one from had to order it special for me because they don't much because its such a small store. I went to another b&m about an hour away and their cheapest one was $350.. I was considering the steampunk 50ct that ccom has but haven't found any reviews on it. I think I would want to keep it around a 50count box
    First off, check my humidor seasoning thread, tons of good info in there, and you really need to do this properly, otherwise using cigars to stabilize humidity will ruin your stash. As far as a humi goes, if you want a 50, buy a 100. Go big...you will need it... Talk to anyone here, they will all laugh about the 50 they bought...then the 100...then the 300...then the coolers...then the wineadors...
    Problem I think with going that big, right now at least, is that I'm just a college kid that enjoys cigars. At the rate that I buy cigars, it would take me about a year to fill a 50 and be smoking as well. If I can find a 100 for the same price (or close to it) as a 50 then I would consider it, so long as I'm not losing quality.
    Welcome to the forum SmokeWI! I would take catfishbluezz advice on the size of the humidor! I said the same exact thing as you, "I am a college kid that enjoys cigars, I am not going to buy that many." I bought a 120 CT humidor less than a month ago....... and it is 3/4 of the way full! Especially when you get to know people on here, and you start getting bombs! Buy, at least, a 100 CT humidor...
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Alright sounds good. Does anyone have any suggestions of one to get online? or maybe to watch for in the sprint auctions? I haven't been able to find any reviews on any of the ones listed on cigar.com's inventory
  • maymgmaymg Posts: 47
    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewCigar.asp?prod=M-SPHUM03-MH I bought the Southport Large Mahogany Humidor from CCOM. I bought the Xikar Crystal Jar and a Xikar Digital Round Hygrometer as well from a different site. I haven't had one problem with this humidor... My Humidity levels are consistently right around the 65-70%! I would definitely suggest upgrading to the Digital hygrometer and either the crystal jar or beads! They help out a lot!
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Thanks much. Heading to a b&m tomorrow or Friday to take a look at some but if nothing really catches my eye I'll most likely go with that.
  • maymgmaymg Posts: 47
    No problem! Keep an eye on the Sprint Sale! A couple days after I bought the humidor, I saw the same one go for $45! If you have time, keep an eye on the Sprint Sale!
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Yeah, I have been lately. I'm kinda the type of person that likes to see things in person rather than online. I don't think that the pictures for that specific humidor are really good either, can't really see how the wood looks.
  • maymgmaymg Posts: 47
    It looks great! It is truly a nice humidor! great looking and works great!!
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Good to know, thanks :)
  • CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    Welcome to the hobby that is Cigars....humidors as you will learn come in all shapes and sizes and prices and if I could do it all over again I'd have done more research on humidors and just bought a RubberMaid Tupperador ( they go for about $10 for a 2/5 gallon size and will hold about 150 cigars of varying sizes.) Doing this will give you time to research humidors w/o stressing about RH and all the other things that go with the start up process. If you do get a Tupperador...line the bottom with cedar or just use an old cigar box and put your cigars in there as the cedar will help regulate RH inside. Even if you don't have enough cigars right now the Tupperador will hold RH very well and the best thing is that you don't have to fiddle with seasoning it...it's ready right out of the gate. You can use different medias to regulate your RH..beads, gels, kitty litter, boveda paks, etc. The humidor you have now is probably over seasoned and letting it air out will fix that..maybe a day or two. The thing about wood humidors is if you are going to buy one...go large as much as you can afford because this is a hobby that you will buy more than you realize and having one that is 20-25 count is good for a desktop type of thing...you shouldn't pay more than $75 for that size and maybe not even that much...I have 5 of them that I paid $35 for and they hold 50 cigars and keep them at 65% perfectly.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 8,219 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cigary:
    Welcome to the hobby that is Cigars....humidors as you will learn come in all shapes and sizes and prices and if I could do it all over again I'd have done more research on humidors and just bought a RubberMaid Tupperador ( they go for about $10 for a 2/5 gallon size and will hold about 150 cigars of varying sizes.) Doing this will give you time to research humidors w/o stressing about RH and all the other things that go with the start up process. If you do get a Tupperador...line the bottom with cedar or just use an old cigar box and put your cigars in there as the cedar will help regulate RH inside. Even if you don't have enough cigars right now the Tupperador will hold RH very well and the best thing is that you don't have to fiddle with seasoning it...it's ready right out of the gate. You can use different medias to regulate your RH..beads, gels, kitty litter, boveda paks, etc. The humidor you have now is probably over seasoned and letting it air out will fix that..maybe a day or two. The thing about wood humidors is if you are going to buy one...go large as much as you can afford because this is a hobby that you will buy more than you realize and having one that is 20-25 count is good for a desktop type of thing...you shouldn't pay more than $75 for that size and maybe not even that much...I have 5 of them that I paid $35 for and they hold 50 cigars and keep them at 65% perfectly.
    Whoever told you to soak it gave you bad advice brother. Just leave it open for a day then put your hygrometer back in let it sit for a few hours and check again. Or you can use a hair dryer on low to dry it out a bit.
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Alright so I did what you guys said. I took the humidifier out nearly 24 hours ago, and at the time that I took it out, my hygrometer read 80. Just a moment ago when I checked it, it said 76. I think though that something is more wrong with my hygrometer than anything and that I might need to get a digital one. Reason I think this is because I wiped down the inside walls a week ago today, and when I did do that, it wasn't with a ton of water.. just enough to dampen the wood a little.
  • The_KidThe_Kid Posts: 7,871 ✭✭✭
    Bob Luken:
    Welcome SmokeWI. You have an interesting set of circumstances going for you. You should store your cigars in ziplock bags and make sure you get your humidor seasoned right before you put them back in your humidor. If it really is 80% humidity in your humidor you don't want your cigars in there. Your ambient room temps are fine. But your hygrometer may not be as accurate as it should be. There is another method you should try to test/calibrate it. Look up "salt test calibration". You can do the test inside of a ziplock bag. Here is a video that will explain the basic steps.





    Even before you salt test the hygrometer you should try removing the humidifier to see if that is the main problem. Soaking any type of humidifier is likely to over-saturate it. Try leaving the lid open for an hour or so and then close it up without the humidifier inside and see what readings you get after 12 hours.

    Please post back on this thread and let us know how it works out and if you want to ask us any more questions just fire away.

    If you would prefer to ditch your analog hydrometer, I would recommend an investment in a xikar. They are guaranteed. Just under $20 online with free shipping and super easy to calibrate. (XIKAR Digital Round Cigar Hygrometer 832XI)

    http://www.amazon.com/XIKAR-Digital-Round-Hygrometer-832XI/dp/B002V4EZUE/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1375851473&sr=1-2

    +1
    If you havent done the salt test, I recommend that you do it,, whos to say that the hygrometer you compared yours with was accurate. Too many uncertains till you calibrate, get a digital. regardless of what humidor you use you can always use a digital hygrometer!! For bigger get a cooler!!! 3-5 day at blankmart or blankdepot
  • CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    Sometimes equipment failure is the key thing here...digital is the better road traveled IMO.
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Alright I'll pick up a digital one. Do you guys know if the Xikar ones need to be calibrated? I know on their site they say that they don't need to be
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,434 ✭✭✭✭✭
    SmokeWI:
    Alright I'll pick up a digital one. Do you guys know if the Xikar ones need to be calibrated? I know on their site they say that they don't need to be
    Xikars are fairly accurate right out of the box, but I like to calibrate mine. I had a new one that was off by 5% when I did the salt test. So I would recommend calibrating. When, or if you ever get around to salt testing, do both of your hygrometers together. If your analog reads 80% during the salt test, you know that it's 5% high. (75% is supposed to be the results you get from the salt test method.) Don't adjust it, just remember to subtract five. Those analogs are fickle when you start stickin' screwdrivers in them. Just write (minus 5%) on a piece of tape and stick it to the analog face as a reminder. The xikar is soooo simple. There's a reset button and it resets it to 75%. Easy peasy.

    And the Southport Large is a great choice for you to upgrade to. I have one. I counted my sticks when it was full. It held 100. It has a wonderful aroma. I saw them sell for $40 on the sprint sale a few times. I wish I had gotten a second one at that price when I had the chance.
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    So earlier this morning (about 11 hours ago) I started to do a salt test for my analog hygrometer. About an hour and half after I put it in the bag, it was reading about 82. I just checked it and it is reading about 92-94. Starting to think that it might have been a bit off? Or should it go down by morning, giving it the full 24 hours?

    Also, how big of a difference does it make with room temp? Only reason I ask is because we have the windows of the house open... weather channel says it is 64 outside right now, but the thermostat which is in the room next to where my hygrometer is, says the house is 73degrees.
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Ok it's been about 22 hours since I started the salt test, and it is reading 92. Should I adjust it to 75 or just put a piece of tape that says +17? I am going today to a b&m to look at some larger humidors and may pick up a digital but it would be great to have this one be accurate as well. Thoughts?
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,434 ✭✭✭✭✭
    SmokeWI:
    Ok it's been about 22 hours since I started the salt test, and it is reading 92. Should I adjust it to 75 or just put a piece of tape that says +17? I am going today to a b&m to look at some larger humidors and may pick up a digital but it would be great to have this one be accurate as well. Thoughts?
    Thanks for the updates. Yes, you should be able to get some use out of your analog hygrometer but if I were you I'd go ahead and get a xikar. That way you'll be better able to gauge the analog's reliability.

    Make sure that you are using distilled water and that you are making the salt "damp" and not "wet". It should look like wet sand without any layer of shine from water resting on top. You should be able to tip the bottle cap over about 90 degrees and no water pours off and the salt should hold firm. That would help prove that you don't have too much distilled water in your salt to water ratio which would result in higher than 75% readings during your test. (I like to use a Gatorade or similar size bottle cap. It's easier to handle and adjust your salt to water ratio.)

    Assuming that your salt to water ratio is good, I think what you really ought to do is to put a piece of tape on it that says -17% (minus 17) so that you would remember to subtract from 92% to get your salt test baseline result of 75%.

    However, 17% is so far off that personally, I would go ahead and try to adjust it down to get at least within 7 or 8 percentage points of the 75% target reading. I'm not even sure if that extra adjustment is needed, so hopefully some of the more experienced guys will chime in and add their two cents worth on whether that would be necessary or if It's just my preference.

    Looking forward to your next update.
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Just went ahead and bought myself a xikar. What really sucks though, is that I also bought a new humidor today, and everything was good and great but when I got home and had the box in some bright lighting, I could see stain marks on the sides and back of the box (relatively dark lighting in the store). I called the owner of the shop and he apologized up and down and said that it wasn't an issue for me to bring it back, even if I wanted to wait a week until their restock on humidors comes in... just sucks that it's over an hour away :/
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,434 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, that does suck that you got a bad humi. Is there any way to show or tell us what brand/model you got?
  • SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    I honestly don't even know the brand of it. I wasn't told what kind it was (didn't ask either) and there is no information on the box itself. I only paid $50 for it.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,434 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like a good price. I'm still curious. On the felt underside does it say "Quality Importers"? If it does you can probably look it up online to tell what you got or there may be another manufacturers markings underneath.
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