Humidor/Hygrometer Help!

Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#1
My hygrometer is completely out of whack and I am having difficulty getting it to the necessary 70 degrees.

I checked it by wrapping it in a wet towel for 30 minutes, and apparently it should read between 98-100. The hygrometer reads 60.

I was lent a digital hygrometer, but am not sure exactly how it works as it has 2 indicators (Thermo & Hygro)...I am not sure what which one should read 70...one is in degrees (F/C?) and the other is a percentage.

I am ready to toss my humidor out the window and buy a new one or try another method to keep my cigars fresh.

Thanks.
 
Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#2
Concerning the digital hygrometer, the temperature indicator will be just fine if you can keep it at 72 degrees or less. Concerning the percentage of humidity, it should be kept at 70% or less, even 60-65% for cigars with a preponderance of Cuban or Nicaraguan tobacco, or cigars with the Ecuadoran Rosado or Sun Grown wrapper.

To verify the accuracy of your digital hygrometer, try the salt test. It is described in another post on this forum. As for the other hygrometer, throw it out or give it to the cat to whack around like a hockey puck.

You will hear a lot about 70/70. Truly those are the "optimum" measurements for both temperature and humidity, but beware of becoming a member of The Church Of The 70 Percenters. It depends on the type of cigars you have and what your own preferences are. I have found that 60-65% is just fine. I currently have two humidors maintaining 50-52% humidity. These levels are unreasonably low, but if they exist for only two to four months out of the year and the rest of the time they are at 60-70%, then one need not worry.

Again, beware of The Church Of The 70 Percenters. Take it from the man who has been called Chicken Little 4,372 times since joining internet message boards nearly five years ago. I smoke cigars that come out of humidors maintaining 50-55% humidity all winter with no problems, except that the cap shreds upon cutting and sometimes you have to give the wrapper a big cowlick or do the Vanessa Del Rio up and down the cigar to keep it from popping off. They taste just fine and burn really well.

I have two humidors that during the dead of winter keep 50-55% and two others that keep 60-70% humidity. During the spring, summer and autumn they maintain "optimum" levels and everyone goes to the hilltop, holds hands and sings "teach the world to sing and buy the world a coke." :sm_angel:
 
Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#3
Perfect - Thanks for the input.

I put the analog and digital hygrometer to the salt test overnight.

The analog reads 50 and the digital reads 70/69....therefore, I would imagine the analog one is junk and I'll only use is as a plug for the humidor as it would leave a hole in my humidor as it is built-in to the front of it.......also, I wanted to make sure then that my digital hygrometer should read 70/64 since it is off by 6. That is going with the 70/70 "rule of thumb" for now. I would imagine that is correct ?...

OR ...should I pick up a new digital hygrometer or is the one I have suffice ?

Then I got to thinking a glad tupperware container keeps a 70/69 reading so why bother with a humidor ?

Thanks again for your input.

Signed,
Frustrated Humidor-Owner
(wishing he was in Cuba, not freezing in Canada)
 
Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#4
What do you mean you did the salt test overnight? That's not enough time. No matter WHAT set of instructions you read, the hygrometer salt test MUST be allowed to run at LEAST 12, and preferably 15 hours to be sure you have obtained accurate results, and you must DOUBLE bag your hygrometers. I'm sure your digital is more accurate than you stated. Forget what the temperature should read, since you only have so much control over that. Your hygrometer should read 75 when you take it out. Run the test again. If it comes out reading 69% humidity again, then yes, optimally it should say 64% if you're going with The Church's :wink: doctrine.

Try again and keep us posted. We'll be ready with more help if/when you need it.
 
Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#5
OK. The results of experiment #2 are in....

Experiment #1 - digital hygrometer in tupperware read "69" overnight

Experiment #2 - digital hygrometer in "double" zip lock bag for 15+hours reads "69"

Therefore, I guess I am off by 6 degrees, but you think it would be accurate ?

Couple more questions:

1-Is it worth trying again in a tupperware container for 15+ hours?

2-If a tupperware container keeps 60-65 degrees why use the humidor ?

Thanks again...and maybe I'll go with experiment #3 of overnight in tupperware ?
 
Nov 25, 2003
2,438
0
Paradise CA
#6
you seem confused. a humidor is meant to keep humidity, without active thermal control it can do nothing about the temp. nor can the salt test. humidity is more important than the temp. cigars are fine at room temperature.
 
Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#7
OK. Now I am really confused :)

I performed the salt test to ensure that my digital hygrometer was working properly, but it seems to be off by 6 degrees.

I want to make sure that my humidor keeps 70 degrees or slightly less humidity...

Is there any need for the humidor then ?....do people keep cigars in tupperware containers at room temperature as it keeps 70 degrees humiditiy ?

Still confused.
 
Jan 24, 2005
365
0
Oak Ridge, TN
#8
Humidity is measured in percent. Not degrees. I'm not sure if you really are confused or just using the wrong units.
 
Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#9
My mistake...I should have noted percent, not degrees, thus the confustion.....

After salt test in tupperware the hygrometer read 69% (overnight)

After salt test "doubled" in zip loc bag it read 69% (15+ hours)

I think it is off by 6%, but may try the salt test once more for 15+ hours in tupperware to see what it reads....

Question: Are there any other options than a humidor to keep cigars at 70% humidity....

would salt in bottle cap in tupperware container work ??

Sorry for the confusion!
 
Jan 12, 2005
1,446
0
Chicago
#10
all analog hygro's have a +/- 10% variance. If you want accuracy you need to go digital. As for other alternatives, the best is a cigar oasis or elecric unit. It kicks on when it falls below 70 and keeps it constant 24/7 It is more $$$ but you definately have to babysit it less. The only other down side is that it takes up a lot of room in your humidor. Tuperware works okay but it can be harder to regulate. My vote is go with the electric. I have been running one for a year and this is the first winter I have not pulled my hair out when the heat kicks in and sucks the moisture out of the air. I cant tell you how much of a headache this saved me.
 
Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#11
Excellent - Thanks for the input. I will try and source an electric unit to keep it at 70 degrees. I have given up on my analog hygrometer and even my digital is off 5-6%

I personally find it frustrating and difficult to keep the humidor at 70 degrees and eventually many of my fine cigars dry out and just dont' burn/taste the same...

The only reason I think of tupperware is that it keeps humidity at around 70%..not bad at all.

Thanks for your help and hopefully I can source an electric unit at a reasonable price.
 
Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#12
I tried to imply this originally without getting too much into temperature issues, since temperature is not such a big deal. Your humidor is going to be about the same temperature as the room it is in, so don't get overly stressed about the temperature.

As for humidity, so your digital is off by six percent. So what? Just add six whenever you open your humidor to give it air exchange and so you will obtain a correct reading. You did the salt test just fine. You do not need to do it again. Your digital is off by six and that's all there is to it. I have a digital that I rotate between my four desk tops and it is off by four, so I just have to add four when I open a humidor to check the reading.

As for Humidor vs. Tupperware, get a humidor. The Spanish cedar used to line wood humidors is the best prevention against tobacco beetles outside of keeping proper temperature and humidity. As for a tupperware, they make great humidors for the short term if you cannot afford a regular humidor. The down side of tupperware is that you cannot put it on a coffee table, piano or bar and have it look nice the way you can with a wood humidor.

There are plenty of very nice looking humidors that can easily be had for less than $50. They brighten up a home's appearance and the fact that they are not completely airtight like a tupperware is actually a good thing for the long term. The disadvantage of tupperware is that they have to be checked constantly because of mold fears. They hold humidity in so well and restrict air flow so completely that you will have to check a tupperware much more often to make sure that your cigars are not becoming too humid and in some extreme cases, even developing mold.

Don't forget, I said that Cubans, Nicgaraguans and some other cigars need LESS than 70% humidity to be kept properly. If you put them in a tupperware at 70%, chances are you will learn a very expensive lesson within a month.

And again, tupperware doesn't look as attractive sitting on a coffee table. :D
 
Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#13
Well, believe it or not...I decided to try the salt test one FINAL time with my digital hygrometer in tupperware. Sure enough I am staring at it shaking my head as I type as it reads 77%....

I have come to the conclusion that it is either 6 off or 2 over..so I will go break it down the middle and go with a difference of 4%.

I will give it a try and see what happens and hopefully my humidor will keep my cigars around the 60-70% range as they are mostly cubans.

Hopefully my humidor keeps its humidity and if not, I may look into purchasing one of the Cigar Oasis devices...that may be a conversation for a separate forum.

Thanks for all your help.
 
Feb 26, 2005
3
0
#14
jimmer.... elsewhere on this site there is a table,.....from the home page click info.....about cigars.....accessories.....and scroll down. it deals with temp/relative humidity you might find helpfull. At different temps you need more or less humidity to maintain a desired effect. long ashes to ya.............!
 
Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#15
Kingfisher59 brings up a good premise, but be careful of buying into the "relative humidity" concept. We had a lonnngggggg discussion about this during my days on "another web site" and some made strong arguments for it, and others made equally strong arguments against it. Believe me, the "touch test" will be the best judgment of how an individual cigar is doing. Since you can't go around feeling up your cigars just to see how your humidity level is, just go by 60-65% for Cubans, Nicaraguans and 66-70% for Dominicans and some others. You won't go wrong. Just don't go jumping in the ocean if it reads 50-60% during the winter. Your cigars will be just fine.
 
Feb 26, 2005
3
0
#16
Bloofington......You are right, you just cant beat tried and true experiance. I'm fairly new to this PLESURE and am setting up a new humidor also, so i've ben researching the ins and outs so to speak.I'd like to just say thanks to U and all of you out there who take the time to get on the boards and lend advice.........THANKS....Long ashes to you all.....!
 
Feb 20, 2005
14
0
#17
Thanks. I took a look at the tables. The room temperature has been at 70 degrees consistently...I'll be sure to keep an eye on the tables.

My humidor used to be in the mid-50's%age, around this time of year...but as I type it is now sitting in the mid-60 range.....I just wiped it down with distilled water last week...so hopefully it keeps its humidity.

I'm sure the %age will drop down to the mid-50's as it normally does this time of year in the upcoming weeks...but according to Bloofington that is common and not to panick.

If it drops below mid-50's in the near future or as the weather warms up and I light more often, then I may consider the Cigar Oasis to keep it at 70% all year long.

Jimmer
 

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