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Humidor gift Idea and pack question

nhjennhjen Posts: 2
edited December 2019 in Cigar 101


I have three questions-

I did a search and saw that most of you recommend an xtreme cooler with packs, instead of  a humidor.

I wanted to purchase a gift for my husband and would feel kind of chintzy giving him a cooler for xmas :)

I did purchase Paradigm Humidifier for him, because I don't think he will remember to check the packs every few days. (I purchased him cigars in Ireland and I have forgotten to wet the packs for over a week, so I can only imagine with snow coming and him plowing days at a time, he will forget as well).

1. is there any starter humidor that you recommend? I have been looking at reviews etc, but not sure if they are all shills handpicked by the various companies.

2. Has anyone used the paradigm humidifier and did you find it worked well?

3. (I feel stupid asking this) I totally forgot to purchase distilled water for the packs, so I literally boiled water for a few minutes, let it cool and used that. Kind of a homemade distillation. I realize this isn't the best option, but did I totally ruin the pack and need to purchase a new one, or should I just use the real distilled water when the pack dries out?

Thank you!!



  • 0patience0patience Posts: 10,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am going to agree with what has been said about the cooler humidor, but with a caveate.
    I am one of those people who has a desktop , ok several desktop humidor that I keep a few cigars in on my desk.
    I have a tower cabinet that holds most of my cigars, but I keep a few in my desktop humidor.
    Largely because I am lazy and it's a whole lot easier to find a cigar to grab when there is only 20-30 cigars in there and presentation.
    There is nothing like an awesome looking humidor sitting on the desk.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 9,872 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good one, DZR.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 9,872 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    But seriously,......

    1. A starter humidor can be a very frustrating thing, but they look nice and are traditionally considered the only way to go. The basic ones are not that expensive and are all about the same to me as far as quality. There's a 50/50 chance that the seal will be good or bad, and a bad seal will allow everything to dry out when the humidity in the room is dry. If you or your husband would like to try a desktop humidor, first there is the "seasoning" of the humidor to add humidity to the dry wood in the new humidor. If you successfully get that done, then you would want to maintain 65 to 70% relative humidity (RH). I would recommend using plenty of boveda brand humidification packets. They come pre-programed at 65% and 69% for cigar storage. (I use 65%) I say use way more than recommended for your size humidor. Using more boveda packets than your minimum requirements will not over-humidify your cigars. On the other hand, a plastic container is very easy to maintain although it won't look as handsome or impressive. Also, if you are only storing ten or so cigars, a herfador (cigar travel case) might be all you need, along with a boveda packet inside with the cigars. 
    2.  I never used a paradigm humidifier specifically. I use boveda brand humidification packets. You could consider getting a digital hygrometer as well to keep tabs on your stash of cigars, although bovedas are very reliable and make a hygrometer almost unnecessary, so you may not even bother with a digital hygrometer unless you need a hygrometer to monitor the seasoning of a wooden desktop humidor. 
    3. I'm assuming the the packs you mentioned are (cigar water pillows?) They are not that great at keeping cigars in an ideal, ready to smoke condition anyway. A better idea would be to go ahead and buy a few 60 gram size 65%RH boveda packets to keep your cigars "properly" humidified inside a quart sized ziplock bag until you get another storage option ready. Maybe he'll want to smoke them right away and they'll burn better the longer you can store them at 65%. You can order them on the internet or get them at almost any cigar/pipe shop. I order mine online a dozen at a time. Cigars are expensive, a dozen bovedas are really not expensive when you consider they are protection for your expensive cigars. They come in sealed plastic so they have good shelf life, and if you are willing to learn how, they are rechargeable.  Boiled water is not the same as distilled water. Minerals remain in boiled water and minerals will be bad in the long term in humidifiers (paradigm) because over time it will leave mineral deposits. But I would say buy distilled water for the paradigm, or better yet, return the paradigm if you haven't used it and if you can get your money back. The sooner you start using bovedas the better. (I don't work for Boveda, I swear.) I hope our answers are helpful. Feel free to ask more questions if you need to, or for more clarification if some of this doesn't make sense.
    Post edited by Bob_Luken on
  • jlmartajlmarta Posts: 7,881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's a question for you regarding your last paragraph above. 

    If there are no minerals or other things remaining in distilled water, then why is there a dried, white residue remaining in a container that held distilled water which has completely evaporated?  I’m referring to a clear glass custard cup I frequently use with store-bought distilled water. 

    I fail to understand how minerals can travel upward in the steam being generated by boiling water and which moves upward and then down through a condenser. It would seem to me that the minerals would be left behind. 

    I’ve asked this question before but never got a reasonable answer from anyone. If the white residue is from minerals, then why is it in store-bought distilled water?
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 9,872 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    I have edited some of that last paragraph. Also I am relying on other sources for the reasons that distilled water is always recommended over tap water when used to humidify cigars, and why boiling some tap water doesn't make it the same as distilled water. 

    I'm not sure what that residue could be. Where are you keeping that cup? In your humidor? Maybe there's something else, even in distilled water that will leave a residue. Also I would wonder if an open top container might allow airborne particles to settle in the liquid and remain as solids when all the liquid is gone. 

    I assumed the OP (nhjen) simply boiled some water in a pot without using a condenser, so minerals would remain (after boiling) and that pot of boiled tap water would actually have a higher concentration of minerals now than before boiling.

    I googled a bit on distilled water leaving a residue and they say distilled water absorbs CO2 (containing carbonic acid) when exposed to air and maybe that would leave residue but I assume it would still be much less residue than with tap water when evaporated in the same way.  

    I think the real concern with using tap water for cigar storage uses would be mineral residue left on humidifiers and causing them to perform poorly after enough buildup has occurred.  

    Also I read somewhere that organic materials that have a lower boiling point than water will travel through the condensation process and remain in distilled water. Perhaps these materials are now harmless (dead) but I wonder if they would be included in any residue. 
  • silvermousesilvermouse Posts: 18,231 ✭✭✭✭✭
    only thing i could find, every other site said it was mineral-free:
    Use Distilled Water To Fill Your Humidifier Tank.
     Using distilled instead of tap water to fill your humidifier will cut down on dust significantly. Distilled water has a very low mineral count and therefore will not produce white dust that hard tap water will.

    and this:

    According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Distilled water, being essentially mineral-free, is very aggressive, in that it tends to dissolve substances with which it is in contact. Notably, carbon dioxide from the air is rapidly absorbed, making the water acidic and even more aggressive. Many metals are dissolved by distilled water."
  • jlmartajlmarta Posts: 7,881 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hmmmmm. Thanks, guys. 👍
  • BullSquatchBullSquatch Posts: 534 ✭✭✭✭✭

    glad i searched and found this info. thanks for the amazon link @peter4jc

    "Some people meditate, I smoke cigars." - Ron Perlman
    "...I intend to go home tonight and smoke a cigar to the glory of God." - Charles Spurgeon
    Two Time Cigar Lottery Winner
    Buck Fiden!

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