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Old 12-30-2014, 05:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: South Carolina
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Need help and advice

So I recently ordered a humidor from CI (the tuscany cherry one) and i bought the humi-care starter kit with it. So i watched videos on how to season the humidor and used the humi-care wipes and made sure i let it do its thing for 24 hours etc. However even after calibrating the digital hygrometer the humidity is way off. It shows 56% in the humidor and would only ever get to 64% when doing the salt test.

So i calibrated the analog hygrometer last night and this morning its only showing 62%. So im puzzled and could use some help. I did make sure to have the salt in a paste form and not too much water.

So any tips and pointers would be great.

Update: I was doing some reading and saw the dollar bill test. On the front side of the humidor i am able to pull the bill out without any issues even if it is locked. So would this be my issue?

Last edited by cjsgamecock; 12-30-2014 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:38 PM   #2
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Location: Jackson TN USA
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Okay, a few tips for you:

1. Using just the wipes for moisture and then using the humidor after only 24 hours simply isn't adequate. A Spanish cedar-lined humidor can take up a lot of moisture over a period of several days before it's really ready to store cigars. I suggest you re-season using a more liberal source of water vapor, such as a damp sponge sitting in a saucer or shallow leftovers container (don't put water directly on the wood), and give it a week or more for the lining to absorb all it can.

2. Meanwhile, double check the analog hygometer; most of them are inaccurate if they work at all. I prefer a digital hygrometer (with a fresh battery) that has an adjustment method -- some digitals don't offer this. Do the salt test in a ziplock bag that's thin enough to let you turn the adjustment knob or press the button while it's still in the bag, or just label the unit with the number of points you need to add or subtract from the readout to reach 75%.

3. If the dollar bill pulled out easily, the humidor's lip allows too large a gap to provide a good seal. You can usually improve things by adding strips of blue painter's tape (not ordinary masking tape) all the way around; cut each strip to fit neatly into the corner using a razor blade or X-Acto knife. A single layer of the tape will probably be enough to build up the lip and make for a tighter seal.

4. Finally, you don't mention what you're using for humidifcation. The foam-brick and gel-jar devices work after a fashion, but they require a lot of attention to keep them just wet (using distilled water) enough without overdoing things. Boveda packs work much better, and they're two-way devices that both release and absorb moisture as needed to maintain the desired humidity. Use one for each 50-count of capacity, plus one extra for the humidor itself. I prefer the 65% packs, you may prefer the 69% version.

Remember that every time you open the humidor, moisture escapes and drier air enters; it can take a few hours for the relative humidity to stabilize again, but this affects the air (and your hygrometer's reading) more than the cigars themselves. (Cigars are the absolute best humidity-buffer for a humidor, mainly because you can smoke them.)

Patience is a virtue when it comes to everything about cigars. Give the humidor time to season, let the cigars themselves stabilize at the humidor's desired relative humidity, and don't worry about any swings in humidity that you can easily explain (such as opening the 'dor). If you need to correct for a big swing in humidity, try to do it at the rate of one to two points per week, so the cigars humidify evenly throughout -- this will help prevent wrapper-splitting, tunneling when you light them, and other problems. Even smoking the cigars themselves shouldn't be rushed -- choose what you smoke based on the amount of time you can devote to it, so you give yourself sufficient time to appreciate it. Finally, don't spend a lot of money right away on anything except the cigars themselves; there will be plenty of time later for more and upgraded accessories.
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