Boveda Seasoning Complete ... I think?

First I want to thank everyone who helped me out with getting my new humidor setup. Everyone's advice was very much appreciated. I have a couple of questions moving forward before I put my cigars inside ...

I purchased the Boveda seasoning packets and followed the instructions. I left them in for a week as they said but I noticed that the analog hydrometer in the center of the humidor didn't move at all. I guess it wouldn't just for the seasoning period? It didn't even budge a little. I thought that was strange. 

I have taken the Boveda seasoning packs out and put in the correct humidity ones and I placed my digital hydrometer in there just to make sure. I calibrated it using the Boveda calibration bag so I know THAT one is accurate. I want to make sure the digital reads properly before putting my cigars in. Should I assume the analog one is broken or something? Or does the humidity not change at all during the seasoning period?

Elaine
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Comments

  • WoodguardenWoodguarden Dublin, PAPosts: 130 ✭✭✭

    If the digital one looks correct I would load it up with cigars and check it in a few days. It should start to move toward 70. It may take up to a week to fully stabilize after adding cigars.

    You can do the salt test on the analog and calibrate it properly. Just google hygrometer salt test.

  • CharlieHeisCharlieHeis South DakotaPosts: 5,873 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The analog ones that come with humidors are junk. My first humidor has a built in that reads 20% higher than my digital, which has been tested as accurate. 
    Also, you can set a shot glass of water in to raise the level (before putting cigars in) if it still isn't anywhere near 70%. The humidity level should rise during calibration, but like Woodguarden said, it may take a bit to stabilize again after adding cigars.

    Ken Light MOW Badge 2014
    2015 Gang War - West Coast
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It very well could take longer than a week for the humidity to saturate the wood.  The Boveda system does a nice job of slowly raising it however the wood takes time to absorb the moisture.  Make sure you get it stabilized with the digital in there before you add any cigars.  Rushing it will only cause more headaches down the road.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • I will put the 84% seasoning packs back in for another week and see if I can get it above 60% which is were it seems to be staying right now. I know my digital one is accurate so I'm just going to keep an eye on it.
  • onestrangeoneonestrangeone Austin, TxPosts: 2,444 ✭✭✭✭✭

     How big of a humi is it? How many seasoning packs did you use? If your in a dry climate it could take a bit longer than normal.

    It's been a while since I seasoned a new humidor and I have not used the seasoning packs so I'm not sure how long it would take, ideally I would want the rh to stabilize somewhere between 70 - 75 then when you add your smokes it will drop a few points and you can adjust it from there to get the rh you want.

    Good luck and let us know how it's going :)  

  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @TheWebRecluse 

    Any update? How's your humi looking?
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • TheWebRecluseTheWebRecluse Posts: 25
    Hello to everyone :) Thanks for the inquiries ...

    I put in two 72% boveda packs and I placed my cigars in there (about 20) when the humidor hit 68% humidity. Problem is now it's holding around 61% ...  I ordered a few more boveda packs from cigar.com because I think 2 isn't enough (probably need about 6 based on how big the humidor is). The temperature in the room fluctuates too and I can't do much about that. I've tried keeping the curtains closed to make sure no sun gets in which is the best I can do right now.

    This is my first humidor ... my first time trying to actually keep cigars. I hope that I'm not going to lose them. I've only just begun to realize how expensive this hobby is :) I enjoy cigars but I used to only get 3 or 4 a year and enjoy the smoke. Now ... I'm smoking several per month. I got a humidor so I could keep some ...  but this isn't going too well yet ... 


  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How big of a humidor is it?  61% isnt too low as it would pertain to ruining sticks.  Some people like their rh to be around that point.  I'm a 65% guy myself and some like them at 70% or anywhere in between.  

    If your cigars where a little dry when they went in it could be the reason its struggling to catch back up..  More boveda's will never be a problem.  Another thing to keep in mind is keeping a good quantity of cigars in the humidor.  It regulates easier and recovers quicker if you keep it fullish.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • TheWebRecluseTheWebRecluse Posts: 25
    So I'm at a loss now. I leave the Boveda seasoning packs in until they got hard. Then I added several 72s and 75s as you can see in the photo. I don't have that many cigars in the humidor but they are extremely dry. If I squeeze only a little they are brittle at the top.

    The humidity won't get above 64 and sometimes drops to as low as 60. It won't hold. At this point I'm worried about the cigars not surviving the winter.

    The cigars in my portable XIKAR are doing better ... I might have to move these into the portable.

    I don't know what to do at this point. Should I pile even more Boveda packs in the bottom?
  • onestrangeoneonestrangeone Austin, TxPosts: 2,444 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Okay, this looks like either a display case or a tower? I would start with checking the seals, on the door especially around the hinges, and ALL the glass. Depending on how big a unit this is you may need to add a couple of small fans to circulate the air since humidity is heavy and tends to sink to the bottom.  Another option is an electronic humidifier, I use these on humidors that are more than 2 cubic ft.   
  • CharlieHeisCharlieHeis South DakotaPosts: 5,873 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Okay, this looks like either a display case or a tower? I would start with checking the seals, on the door especially around the hinges, and ALL the glass. Depending on how big a unit this is you may need to add a couple of small fans to circulate the air since humidity is heavy and tends to sink to the bottom.  Another option is an electronic humidifier, I use these on humidors that are more than 2 cubic ft.   
    Yep, I'd be concerned about the seal around the doors as well. Also, the more cigars that are in there, the easier it will be to maintain a constant humidity.
    Ken Light MOW Badge 2014
    2015 Gang War - West Coast
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yep, I'd be concerned about the seal around the doors as well. Also, the more cigars that are in there, the easier it will be to maintain a constant humidity.
    I think it is a case of not having enough sticks in there. Can you do a very light wipe down of the cedar shelves with a clean lint free cloth and distilled water? I had to do that a time or three on some humis to get them to level out. 

    The hard bovedas need need to be pulled out and recharged (check some videos out on YouTube) with distilled water in some shot glasses and a closed Tupperware container 

    Do you have a local B&M or will your budget allow you to pick up 25-40 more sticks? Will help level out the proper rh

    Keep us posted!!

    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 6,623 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's either that something somewhere isn't sealing well, or it wasn't seasoned properly, most likely the latter.  You could try a small dish of water over a few days so the wood can get saturated as Brad said, while your sticks sit in the Xikar travel thingie.
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah I would get the cigars into your xikar or a tuperware container with a boveda or two to help maintain them until you get the humidor settled in right.

    With the sound of you leaving the boveda seasonings in there until they dried out I am guessing there is a bad or multiple bad seals on the humidor either around the door or with the amount of glass there is a leak there too.  My glasstop has been having issues lately that I am getting rid of it and going to a solid wood one for my wifes stash.  It just doesnt hold humidity anymore.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • WoodguardenWoodguarden Dublin, PAPosts: 130 ✭✭✭

    I had that same display humidor. I wouldn't waste the bottom shelf with Boveda's. I had 2 large crystal jars in each bottom corner and 2 small jars under the back of the bottom shelf. It angles the shelf perfect, just like the others.

    Also you definitely needs more cigars in there......

  • TheWebRecluseTheWebRecluse Posts: 25
    edited October 2015
    Ok so it seems like based on the responses ... here's what I understand.

    1. I need to add more cigars (there's a place I can buy more cheap sticks)
    2. possibly wasn't seasoned completely 
    3. possible humidor itself has bad seals
    4. need to get better humidification - crystal jars etc boveda's not enough(?)

    So now what?

    1. I added the cigars that were in my travel case to the humidor (about 10 more). I can buy more cigars sometime this week.

    2. Or should I take all the cigars out, put them in my travel humidor for now, and try to re-season the humidor again?

    3. how do I check for bad seals and if there are leaks is my humidor just ruined? I didn't do anything like wipe it down which I know you're not supposed to do. I only added the boveda packs for several weeks.

    4. should I get crystal jars (can anyone recommend some on cigar.com) instead of the boveda packs? electronic humidifier? I don't know what that is ... I'm new to all of this.

    What should I try to do first?
  • TheWebRecluseTheWebRecluse Posts: 25
    It's also very cold in the room. I haven't turned the heat on yet this fall and it's already quite cold. 65f right now. It's always a bit cold in there. I have the curtains closed because normally it gets a lot of sunlight (blackout curtains). I'm not sure whether I need to add a heater in the room - will that help? The humidors I walk into at the cigar shop always feel really cold to me too.
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    As far as temps I keep mine at 65f, and that is a-ok. Temps between 60-70 are ideal. You are golden at 65f.

    The low humidity is more of a concern

    Some folks say no to wiping down Because if it is too wet (puddles of water) you will warp the wood. I have used the wipe down method on five humis now with no issues whatsoever; use distilled, make sure the cloth is lightly damp (dripping cloth is too wet), and over the course of an hour wipe the cedar down 6x -- once every ten mins. If you are worried this is too much do 3x (three sessions, once every 10 min) over a half hour, monitor it for 24 hours and do again the next day. 

    Did you take out the dry/hard boveda packs? The bovedas work via a two-way humidification process, absorbing humidity if the target rh is lower than the current rh and releasing moisture to bring it up if the rh is lower. Keeping dried out ones in with fully charged ones will be counter productive as the dry ones pull from the charged ones.

    Good to hear you are getting more sticks soon! Pick up some good cheap ones (I recommend Nub or doing the pick 10 cigars for 49.95 here) for sure don't get junk you would not smoke :)

    I do not have a glass top or sided humi, so seal checking I will defer to whoever has one of those

    Here are a couple of YouTube video about the wipe down method (I recommend looking at several videos on YouTube to get comfortable)





    Jay
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well we are talking in Relative Humidity so if it is cooler in the room it will struggle to get that humidity up higher.

    There really is no way to "test" if you have bad seals around the glass. You might be able to do the dollar bill test to test the door seal but I'm not sure if that would really work on a more upright humi like that.  

    What I would do is move everything to the travel humidor for the time being with a boveda or two.  Then put a large surface area pan/dish of distilled water into the humi on the top or middle shelf or if you have enough on each shelf to really help get lots of moisture into the humi without actually wiping it down.  Put your hygrometer on the top shelf and let it sit for a week without opening any door and see what happens. (also if you could get it into a slightly warmer room it might help but 65 degrees isnt that low)
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I remember the dollar bill test now that you mention it Brad; what about the 'whoosh' test? 

    The whoosh test may be done on a desktop humi; simply drop the lid closed (from about a 45 degree angle) and if it makes a whoosh or whump type noise, the seal is good. Not sure how we test that in an upright tho, lol
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I believe the seal system would be slightly different on something like this.  The door could very well be the culprit of it struggling.  Maybe a few more pictures of the door and seal area would be good.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • TheWebRecluseTheWebRecluse Posts: 25
    I will need to get some distilled water. I don't have any at the moment. I just opened the door to take a picture of the added cigars I put in and the humidity dropped 4 points immediately. It will creep back up and hold at about 62 again though if I go back and look in about 30 minutes. It's been as high as 65 ... but not steadily. 

    At the bottom I have 3 72 boveda packs and 2 75 packs and then the humidifier that came with it but I haven't put any solution or anything in it. It just sits in there. 

    I am not sure what kind of pictures you want of the door.  I'm happy to take whatever. :) I put a dollar bill where the doors come together and honestly the bill just slid right out. There was no tightness at all. A breeze would have blown it out :) 

    My travel case ... has a tight seal. When I open it, it's really tight and it pops. You can hear the suction. I never have any problems with it. I have no problem moving my cigars to the travel case  in the meantime. I'd like to get this new one seasoned properly.

    The wipedown technique I don't want to do. I had some desktop humidors that I tried that on and they all warped which is why I switched to the portable Xikar case. I am happy to try putting the distilled water in a pan in there. 
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would pull out the humidifier that came with it.  Is there any type of weather seal or something like that?  If not you would either need to try and figure out a way to get that door to seal up well or go to more of an active humidifier (oasis, hydra or humi-care) http://www.cigar.com/humidification/67220/humi-care-eh-plus-electronic-humidifier/
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    I think you found the issue! sounds like a gap in the door. The key here will be closing that up with some low-VOC/non off gassing sealant. I know some of the guys have made humis out of various cabinets, so don't lose hope! 
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • Usaf06Usaf06 FloridaPosts: 7,759 ✭✭✭✭✭
    also, spread those bovedas out on all three levels.
    "I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form."
    -- Winston Churchill
  • TheWebRecluseTheWebRecluse Posts: 25
    So I spent all this money on a humidor that has a bad door seal .... and now I have to buy a new one - which I don't have the money for - or use some kind of sealant? I don't even understand what that means. 

    The electronic humidifier is something I'd put INSIDE the humidor? It looks huge, I don't understand where that would fit ... 

    I feel like I just wasted a lot of money trying to be fancy when I should have just stuck with my XIKAR portable that holds 50 and humidifies perfectly. I'm starting to feel really foolish about all of this. 
  • Usaf06Usaf06 FloridaPosts: 7,759 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Could have went with a cooler. They make great humidors and a lot of botl's use them. Might be something to look at if your thinking that one isn't going to cut it
    "I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form."
    -- Winston Churchill
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    @matkn293 was it you who converted a side table into a humi?

    I also seem to remember a clockidor a while back, maybe @90+_Irishman 

    What did you fellas do to make an air tight seal on the door? @TheWebRecluse is feeling a bit lost here, hoping you guys might steer him on fixing his seal issues 
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2015
    Usaf06 said:
    Could have went with a cooler. They make great humidors and a lot of botl's use them. Might be something to look at if your thinking that one isn't going to cut it
    I got my 48 quart cooler from teh Walmart for less than 20 bux. It isn't fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it is rock solid w/ temps and rh
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
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