Salt test question...(and more)

HeavyHeavy Posts: 1,591 ✭✭✭
OK - Everything that I have read online indicates that the salt test should produce a 75% RH. I went to a B&M shop that I rarely frequent today and the guy there told me it should give a 70% RH. What gives? Thing is, my wife got me a digital hygro from this guy as a gift a couple of months ago. The thing is wacky. When I put it in my humidor, it read in the high-50s, so I kept charging my humidifier - highest I could get the RH was 67 (typcially read 62-65%). After a month or so, I can tell that my sticks aren't burning right. Salt test the hygro - it reads 62%!! Look closely at a couple sticks located on the tray directly above the humidifier and I see mold. Salt test the same hygro again - 68%. So apparently I've been unknowingly keeping the RH WAY too high, but I'm not sure how high. So I recently pulled all my sticks and put them in tupperware. Wiped the humidor out and let it air out for a couple of days. I'm seasoning it now with a shot glass of distilled (not wiping it down thanks to advice I've read on here) but I don't think I can trust this hygro. Anyone have similar issues with a digital hygrometer? Advice or suggestions certainly appreciated, because I am confused as hell right now and scared I'm going to ruin my somewhat limited yet growing collection.

Comments

  • TatuajeVITatuajeVI Posts: 2,378
    The salt test should read 75% if your hygrometer is perfect. No question about it. Test it a few different times if you must. I would, it is worth the piece of mind.
  • TheShaunTheShaun Posts: 425
    I had a strange thing happen with my new digi hygro. On the first salt test after 8+ hours it only showed 63%. So I took it out, dumped the salt mixture and pitched the zip bag. Grabbed a face cloth dampened it with hot water and wrapped the the hygro with it. After about 5-10 seconds the hygro read 95%. Good sign, since it was wrapped in the wet towel. Then I went for a second salt test. Mixed up a new salt mixture and this time put it in a tupperware container, went to work and came home, only to find the hygro bouncing between 73-74%. Great! Took it out and let it come down to normal, mixed up new salt mixture and stuck it back in the tupperware. In the morning it was at 73-74% again. It's almost like it needed the kick start of being wrapped in a damp steamy towel.
  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,101 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've had excellent luck with the adjustable hygrometers from Heartfelt Industries. Once you've completed the salt test based on their instructions (letting the test run 24 to 36 hours), you can see how far off the reading is (if any) and adjust it accordingly. I wouldn't waste my time with non-adjustable hygros.

    And to be precise, a salt test should produce 75.5%, not just 75%, but who can tell the difference for that other 1/2 percent? Not me, for sure.

    Marty

  • HeavyHeavy Posts: 1,591 ✭✭✭
    Thanks guys. I'll definitely wrap the hygro in the towel and re-try the salt test. Great advice! And I knew that guy was off saying the salt test should read 70%. Either he was cofused or he was trying to convince me that the hygrometer wasn't that far off since he sold it to me!
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    jlmarta:
    I've had excellent luck with the adjustable hygrometers from Heartfelt Industries. Once you've completed the salt test based on their instructions (letting the test run 24 to 36 hours), you can see how far off the reading is (if any) and adjust it accordingly. I wouldn't waste my time with non-adjustable hygros.

    And to be precise, a salt test should produce 75.5%, not just 75%, but who can tell the difference for that other 1/2 percent? Not me, for sure.

    Marty

    i agree on the adjustable hygros. I dont have one but i sure wish i did. when the one i have dies thats the way im going. i had to get a bit of tape and put "-4" on it so that i know that it reads low by 4 every time. Ive salt tested it about 4 times. every time its low by 4.
  • I have a question also regard salt test, so during the salt test it should read 75.5%, rite now im reading 62%. Now it tells me in the directions, to just calibrate after sitting 6 hours. But in the forums im reading it says that it should read 75.5% during salt test, is it possible that im off 10% and need to calibrate, or am i doing something wrong?
  • HeavyHeavy Posts: 1,591 ✭✭✭
    From what I have gathered, you're better off letting it sit overnight if not 24-36 hours (as jlmarta indicated), then check the reading. If it's still off, definitely adjust the hygrometer so that it reads 75%. Also, sounds like you're using an analog hygrometer? Most folks will tell you that they aren't that dependable - digital is much more accurrate (usually).

    Also, to update my digital hygrometer saga, I finally took it to the B&M where my wife bought it for me. He let me keep it in his walk-in humidor overnight. Turns out it was off by 15%!! You can imagine the trouble it caused me before I found out how far off it was. Anyway, it seems to be consistent, so I'll just deal with the discrepency.
  • Heavy:
    From what I have gathered, you're better off letting it sit overnight if not 24-36 hours (as jlmarta indicated), then check the reading. If it's still off, definitely adjust the hygrometer so that it reads 75%. Also, sounds like you're using an analog hygrometer? Most folks will tell you that they aren't that dependable - digital is much more accurrate (usually).

    Also, to update my digital hygrometer saga, I finally took it to the B&M where my wife bought it for me. He let me keep it in his walk-in humidor overnight. Turns out it was off by 15%!! You can imagine the trouble it caused me before I found out how far off it was. Anyway, it seems to be consistent, so I'll just deal with the discrepency.
    I have an analog gauge for now i ordered a digital that should be arriving some time this week. i want to get my humi going but im getting stuck at this part. So let it sit 24 hours, then calibrate, should i redue the salt test after calibration?
  • HeavyHeavy Posts: 1,591 ✭✭✭
    You can, but I don't think re-doing the salt test a second time would really be necessary, but it's up to you if you want to try to get it really accurate. Since you have a digital coming, I'd just get the analog calibrated and use it to get your humi going until the digital arrives. It will get you close for the time being. Also, based on my experience, I would recommend doing the salt test on the digital as well. Most don't let you adjust the reading (mine didn't), but if it's off, just make a note of how far off.

    I'm not an expert on this so maybe someone else can chime in too, but I have had to deal with this alot in the past month or so, so I've definitly learned a good bit from these forums as well as the local B&M owner.

    Also, have you seasoned your humidor? (small dish or shot glass of distilled water left in the humidor for about 3 days should do it). And if you have any cigars laying around waiting to get in the humi, keep 'em tupperware until the humi is ready.
  • TatuajeVITatuajeVI Posts: 2,378
    Definitely use the salt test for your digital one as well. I test mine on a regular basis - once a month or so. It takes just about no effort, and I have far too many cigars I want to keep stabilized and delicious.
  • Ok thanks guys for your help.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,796 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TatuajeVI:
    Definitely use the salt test for your digital one as well. I test mine on a regular basis - once a month or so. It takes just about no effort, and I have far too many cigars I want to keep stabilized and delicious.
    I just salt tested 2 digitals with 1 being off by -2 and the other by -10. I highly recommend this because you just can't rely on what they say out of the box. If you spent $100 on one I would say expect perfection but since most I have seen are relatively cheap you get what you pay for. Protect your cigars.
  • YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,208 ✭✭✭✭
    I just bought two from Wallymart and one was right on and the other was +5. They can't be adjusted, but they were cheap. I'll just take the difference into account.
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