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Why did Boveda (62) humidified cigars cause my humidor RH to spike when added?

chennemachennema Posts: 3

I have been tinkering with my first humidor for awhile. I'll add some details that I think are relevant to the question, but if you want to get to it, just scroll down to the bottom.

To make a long story short, I was having trouble with my hygrometer and humidifier, so I ended up moving my cigars out of the humidor and into zip lock bags. My cigars were dry when I took them out, so I put them in with 62% Boveda packs, which dried out themselves. I ended up needing about double the recommended number of packs to get the humidity in the bags leveled out.

It turned out the humidor was leaky and needed a little bit of work (I made the mistake of a glass top with drawers in front). I got it patched up and put a PG solution-soaked sponge in the middle drawer. I also replaced the hygrometer with the Oasis Caliber 4R. Without cigars, the reading slowly rose over the course of a few weeks and eventually stabilized around 73%, with there still being plenty of PG-solution in the sponge.

At this point, I figured I could introduce some of the cigars, which I expected to be a little drier than the air in the humidor. I left the sponge in and added about 50 cigars (the humidor holds up to 250) to the middle and bottom drawers, with the hygrometer in the top drawer (the drawers are all slotted by the way). I left the humidor closed up with the cigars, sponge and humidor over the weekend, assuming that the humidity would dip a little and then raise back up over the course of a few days. When I opened it up a few days later, I was surprised to find the RH was around 77%.

I've since taken the sponge out, and I have the drawers cracked (under supervision), just until the humidity comes back under 75%. Once the humidity comes back down, I'm going to add a large 72% Boveda bag and hope the humidity holds steady.

I'm a bit perplexed by this situation. I understand that often-times over-humidified cigars will make the humidity spike when added, but these cigars were humidified at 62%. Also, it took weeks for the humidity in the box to slowly rise up to 73%. I also understand that adding cigars displaces from the box and makes it easier to reach a higher relative humidity, but I wouldn't expect that big of a jump.

So my question is, do you guys have any explanation as to why adding cigars humidified at 62% would cause an RH spike in a humidor that took weeks to get up to 73% RH? Is the displaced air the explanation? Do you recommend any further course of action besides adding the Boveda pack and removing the sponge?

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    Rdp77Rdp77 Posts: 6,136 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My first question is why would you try to reach 72rh? Secondly, to follow up on what was said above a sponge with solution will keep adding humidity until everything is saturated or the sponge goes dry. I would advise tossing the sponge and using straight Boveda. Using both will not allow the Boveda to do the job it is supposed to. They regulate both ways but can only absorb so much.

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    chennemachennema Posts: 3

    @Rdp77 said:
    My first question is why would you try to reach 72rh?

    I was essentially re-seasoning the humidor after the previous issues, so I was just trying to get to a stable humidity. I thought the seasoning humidity should get a little bit higher than what you eventually want the humidor to hold at (I prefer a slightly drier cigar myself). I thought the cigars would bring the humidity down, then once it came back up, I could take out the sponge and add the Boveda and the RH would stabilize (I didn't expect the RH to climb beyond what is was already holding at after adding cigars). As for why I have 72RH Boveda.. that's all the cigar shop had in the larger size. I also suspect the humidor is still slightly leaky, so I don't think it will stay quite at 72. I was just going to test how long the Boveda pack would last and decide if I need to do replace the humidor.

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    chennemachennema Posts: 3

    @Rdp77
    Yep, I've come to find out that the cigars can withstand quite a bit of fluctuation in my tinkering. They definitely aren't as good when they are too dry or too moist, but I don't think they lose much (if anything) once you bring them back.

    I will probably end up with a coolerdor if I can't get this box running more smoothly soon.

    Thanks for your input!

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