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-   -   Properly Seasoning a New Humidor (http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/showthread.php?t=620)

N2Advnture 10-15-2008 12:21 PM

Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
To Properly Season A Humidor:

In regards to seasoning, it's pretty simple. Most people think that you should wipe down the interior with water and you're done but I DO NOT recommend this for two reasons. 1.) It does not provide enough moisture to properly season the humidor 2.) It can warp the wood in the humidor.

New wood will draw moisture until it reaches its saturation point, so to properly season your humidor, simply place a large bowl of distilled water into the humidor and keep it closed for 7-14 days. This will allow the dry wood to absorb as much moisture as it can hold. By doing this, you will have a more stable environment for your cigars and reduce the chances of the dry wood absorbing moisture from your cigars. Patience is key to ensure that your new humidor is properly seasoned.

While your waiting for the humidor to season, purchase and calibrate a digital hygrometer. You'll save yourself some headache in the long run.

I hope this helps and happy smoking!

~Mark

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CSTibby 03-27-2010 04:03 PM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Great thread! There are a ton of ways people suggest to season a humidor, but you break it down to the basics: The why of seasoning.

Confederado 10-05-2010 09:42 PM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
I bought a humidor about a month ago and followed all of the instructions for seasoning that came with it, but the hygrometer is still hovering around 52%. It never got higher than around 62 - 65 when I was calibrating it, and the instructions said it should read 75%. I suppose I should try again? In the meantime, what's the best way to store my cigars while it's seasoning?

icehog3 10-06-2010 02:33 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
A tupperware container should keep your cigars fine for a short time w/o added humidifcation, or indefinitely with.

Is your hygrometer analog or digital? The analog hygrometers are notoriously inaccurate.

N2Advnture 10-06-2010 05:28 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Confederado (Post 1012928)
I bought a humidor about a month ago and followed all of the instructions for seasoning that came with it, but the hygrometer is still hovering around 52%. It never got higher than around 62 - 65 when I was calibrating it, and the instructions said it should read 75%. I suppose I should try again? In the meantime, what's the best way to store my cigars while it's seasoning?

What was the procedure they suggested for seasoning? Many times, they simply say to wipe it down with a sponge but that is not nearly effective enough and if don't improperly, could lead to a bad seal on the humidor.

Like Ice suggested, if using an analog, you'll want to salt test it to make sure it's calibrated (that goes for digital as well for that matter).

Since the hygrometer is our only visual indicator for what the exact RH level is inside the humidor, I recommend calibrating your digital hygrometer twice a year and replacing the battery annually (weak batteries can give a false reading as well).

Most hygrometers are off, typically +/- 2-4% by sometimes by as much at 10-12%.

1.) How to Test and Calibrate a Hygrometer:

A. Fill a small container with salt (milk bottle cap or ketchup cup works well)

B. Add a few drops of distilled water. NOT enough to dissolve the salt, just enough to moisten it. You want the mixture to be thick and pasty.

C. Put the cap inside of an air tight zip lock bag or plastic container along with your hygrometer. Then seal the bag or container. (Tupperware works well).

D. Wait 24 hours, then check the reading on your hygrometer without opening the bag or container (or quickly open the container and check if the container is not clear).


If the reading is 75%, then your hygrometer is accurate and no adjustment is required.

If the reading is not precisely 75%, then you will just have to remember to add or subtract the difference between the test reading and 75%, in order to determine the actual humidity level inside of your humidor.

For example, if your hygrometer test reading was 80%, then subtract 5% from the readings you get when the hygrometer is inside of your humidor to determine the actual levels of humidity.

(e.g. a reading of 70% inside your humidor equals an actual humidity
level of 65%).

Writing the +/- percentage on a piece of tape or small post it note and
affixing it to the hygrometer works well.

2.) Properly seasoning your humidor is critical. If the new wood is not properly seasoned, it will continue to absorb moisture from the RH Beads until the wood has reached it saturation point. To properly season, simply place a bowl of distilled water in the humidor and leave it closed for 7-14 days.

3.) Performance may also depend on your ambient humidity, how frequently you open and close you humidor, how well the seal of the humidor is and how often you add new cigars (drier ambient humidity introduced into your relative environment may reduce the RH level temporarily and new cigars may absorb some moisture if at a lower RH level than that of your humidor).


I hope this helps

~Mark

Dave128 10-06-2010 10:38 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Very good tips. Thank you.

Confederado 10-11-2010 08:35 PM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Mark, the instructions that came with my humidor were pretty much the same as what you told me, except they said to use a shot glass instead of a bowl, and didn't specify an amount of time (I did it for about a week). I started re-calibrating my hygrometer last night around 11:00 pm. It's been stuck at 60% since about 7 this morning. I guess I'm going to have to go digital. For the amount of money I paid for this thing, I expected perfection. :( Thanks for your help!

EricF 10-23-2010 09:41 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
What Mark states above is very true and accurate! The only thing I might add is if you want to speed up the seasoning process alittle place a new, clean sponge (one that is wrung out with distilled water and place it on a saucer in the humi. This will give you more surface area for the water to evaporate. The sponge should be fully saturated. After that throw in your humidification device(s) and enjoy!

pektel 10-23-2010 10:11 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Hell, I didn't even use a sponge. I just folded up a paper towel and stuck it in the bowl of distilled water. Worked just fine, and a lot faster than just a bowl of water.

mikethegoalie32 12-02-2010 10:19 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Does one need to season a humidor after a certain amount of time, or is first time all?
I bought my humidor within the last two years. Winter seasons see me having great difficulty maintaining humidity in it. I have a rather large humidor for a beginner (around space for at least 1000 cigars) but will only have about 60 in it within a week. I use the gel capsules and find in winter I really struggle to keep it at 70% and normally find me dropping in the mid to low 60s... how can I fix this?

T.G 12-02-2010 10:27 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Two things:
Too much empty space can make it difficult to maintain a set RH. For only 60 cigars, a 1000 count humidor is way overkill. A smaller humidor or lots more cigars would help to achieve a more stable humidity reading.

Second, low-mid 60%RH is great. You'll probably find that your cigars burn better and have more pronounced flavors at the lower RH.

Emjaysmash 12-02-2010 10:28 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mikethegoalie32 (Post 1080543)
Does one need to season a humidor after a certain amount of time, or is first time all?
I bought my humidor within the last two years. Winter seasons see me having great difficulty maintaining humidity in it. I have a rather large humidor for a beginner (around space for at least 1000 cigars) but will only have about 60 in it within a week. I use the gel capsules and find in winter I really struggle to keep it at 70% and normally find me dropping in the mid to low 60s... how can I fix this?

One would be to get more cigars. Cigar help maintain an even, constant humidity. Seeing as you fill only about 6% of that humi, the other 94% could be filled with cigar boxes or spanish cedar to help buffer it a little.
Winter has been notoriously bad for me with humidity. Keep your humi away from windows and doors, as the change in ambient temp can make your RH fluctuate.

Also, do you have any glass tops or door to your humi? Humidity can leak through the seam between the glass and the wood.

mikethegoalie32 12-02-2010 10:53 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Ok, 65% is very consistent for me in winter, and 70% is more consistent in summer... This makes me happy!
More cigars will be added very soon. 50 coming back from Cuba, and at least another 50 for XMAS.
And yes I do have both a door and glass all around. But if im around 65% and thats normal I think my seal is solid. Should in the future the seal be weak, how does one fix it?

T.G 12-02-2010 11:34 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mikethegoalie32 (Post 1080564)
Should in the future the seal be weak, how does one fix it?

Blue masking tape! :tu


Seriously, it depends on the type of seal and how it's leaking and where (door or glass for example). There are lots of different possibilities and combinations there, so I'd say cross that bridge when and if you get to it.

mikethegoalie32 12-02-2010 11:42 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
I am so happy I found this website! I was thinking far worse than that lol. You guys and gals are life savers!

bobarian 12-02-2010 01:25 PM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
An easy way to check your seal is to open the top about 3 inches and let it go. You should hear a "whooshing" sound as the top closes. If it slams shut with a bang, then you need to check your seal. Put a dollar bill(or whatever goofy money you use up there :D) between the top and the bottom in several places. If you find a spot where it slides out easily, then use the magic blue(painters)tape to seal. :2

CigarNut 12-02-2010 02:52 PM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bobarian (Post 1080753)
An easy way to check your seal is to open the top about 3 inches and let it go. You should hear a "whooshing" sound as the top closes. If it slams shut with a bang, then you need to check your seal. Put a dollar bill(or whatever goofy money you use up there :D) between the top and the bottom in several places. If you find a spot where it slides out easily, then use the magic blue(painters)tape to seal. :2

Make sure to use paper money and not any of those dollar (or two dollar) coins :)

mikethegoalie32 12-02-2010 03:03 PM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
Sounds good, will do that tonight for sure!

mikethegoalie32 12-13-2010 08:13 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
So checked the seal of the door, no leak, but when checking the seal of the glass, there is a possibility of leaking as I can get a receipt in and moving around.

Blue masking tape is the way to go I guess? On the outside of the humidor I suspect is where I do the tape job?

CigarNut 12-13-2010 08:41 AM

Re: Properly Seasoning a New Humidor
 
I personally like to use Silicone sealer around the glass. The catch with this is that you need to empty your humidor while you are doing this and give it a few days to air out. Then you need to (re)season your humidor.


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