How To Correctly Set Up Your Humidor
Posted: Nov 21, 2019
The purpose of this article is to educate readers about the proper set up and maintenance of humidors. This aspect is often misunderstood: thus performed wrong. By educating the readers on the necessary steps that pertain to humidors, Adan hopes to prevent the damage and headaches that can come from not properly setting up your humidor from the beginning. This is strictly about humidor set up, maintenance, humidifiers, and hygrometers. Adan does not advocate for the use or sale of tobacco of any kind. This article is specifically about a key component in cigar accessories.
Once you have purchased your humidor it is critical that you set it up properly. Many people think that once buy it you can just set it on your shelf and that it will work by itself. This is not the case. You must be patient and be willing to put some effort into properly setting up your humidor. Do it right the first time so that you don't have to do it again.
Remember, the purpose of this machine is to re-humidify the wooden material of the device. The chances are high that your device has been sitting in some type of storage for a while not being used. Therefore, it makes sense that the wooden material composing the humidor is dry. Once you put a couple of fresh cigars in the container the moisture from the cigars will then transfer to your humidor. This will ruin your cigars. So no matter what type of humidor your purchased, or where you bought it from, you must still take the time to set it up correctly.
The amount of time required for the proper set up varies. It can a month or a couple of days. Regardless, the process is simple and straightforward. There are multiple ways to setup your storage device but we will stick with one method for right now.
First, you must properly calibrate your hygrometer. For those who don't know, a hygrometer is a measuring tool that is kind of like a thermometer. Instead it measures the level of humidity. You really want to aim for a consistent humidity level of about 70%. Some humidors will come equipped with a hygrometer, but more experienced people will recommend buying a digital hygrometer. The reason for this is because the digital hygrometer is more accurate than the default analog hygrometer. The analog version can be off by nearly 10%. This can absolutely destroy your stored product.
If you can't afford to invest in a quality hygrometer then that's understandable. Just use the analog measurement. Now we have to calibrate the hygrometer to measure the humidor. First, get a small plastic cap, like the one on a bottle of soda. Put a teaspoon of salt into the cap and add just a few drops of water to the salt. Don't over-do it with the water, you simply want to dampen the salt. Next, you will place the plastic cap with your hygrometer inside of a zip-lock bag. Close the bag securely and make sure there is air inside of the bag. Let the bag sit for about 6-8 hours. After this amount of time take a look at the hygrometer, the measured humidity should be exactly 75%.
If it doesn't read 75% then look for a dial on the side or back of the hygrometer so you can adjust the reading to 75%. If there is no dial available to change the reading just remember what the humidity percentage was so you can calculate the difference later. Now, the next step in setting up your humidor is to place a clean container filled with distilled water inside the box. You can use a small glass to do this. A shot glass will suffice. Be sure to use distilled water because you do not want any contaminants to spoil the smell or taste of your cigars. Water from the tap may contain some type of toxins which can penetrate the wood of your humidor. This will ruin the process.
You can however clean the humidor with a cloth that has been dampened with distilled water. Quality humidors will be easy to clean with the damp cloth. Poor quality humidors may succumb to warping of the wood when coming into direct contact with moisture. This will absolutely render your humidor useless. Good luck trying to return it after that. Next step involved is to charge the humidifier. It is common for the humidor to come equipped with a humidification tool, if not then you will need to purchase one. To charge the humidifier you need to remove it from the humidor. Then lightly dampen it with a solution that is half distilled water and half polypropylene glycol. You don't need to make this combination yourself, you can buy it pre-made from your local cigar store.
Dampen the humidifier by gently hitting it with a couple of drops of the solution. This will be enough to keep a charge that will last you a couple of months. If at any point your cigars start to dry up then that is a sign you need to recharge your humidifier. to If you need to perform a recharge then repeat the process again. Remember to use distilled water to maintain the purity of your device and products.
Everything here has its purpose. Propylene glycol will absorb moisture inside the humidor, and the distilled water will evaporate so that the humidity level can reach 70%. The propylene glycol will kick into action again by prohibiting any additional moisture from accumulating in the humidor. The propylene glycol basically acts as a regulator because it can also absorb excess moisture that may be present. This will in turn bring down the humidity level to the desired 70%. If you don't use propylene glycol in your mixture then your humidor will require much more attention. This is not worth the headache.
After you charge the humidifier, put it back in the humidor. The next step is simple. Just wait for the process to handle itself. It will take time for the humidor to achieve 70% humidity. This can range from a few weeks to merely a couple of days. This all depends on the natural environment and the quality of your humidor. I strongly recommend waiting until the hygrometer is consistently reading 70% before you store your cigars. And remember to adjust for your hygrometer error reading if the adjustment dial was not available in the previous step. If you performed this process correctly then your humidifier will only need to be recharged once every couple of months. As a side note, do not store different cigars together in the same humidor. The aromas and taste can mix together, this is not a good idea because it compromises the original essence that was created by the master blender. Now with this knowledge you can confidently set up, manage, and adjust your humidor. Cheers.
Adan Ramirez is a strong supporter of the mechanical processes and legislative aspects that deal with cigar culture. He does not endorse nor encourage tobacco use or sale of any type, but simply encourages those who do partake in this niche to do so with the knowledge that is commonly overlooked. He believes the cigar culture has deep political, cultural, and economic roots that stem from the aggregation of Latin America. With this belief he hopes to educate the public about the historical significance of this practice and the legacy it has given birth to. He also runs his own website that strictly deals with cigar accessories such as hygrometers, humidors, cutters, etc. at https://mycigaraccessories.com/
My Name is Adan Ramirez and I have a deep passion for cigar culture and sharing my knowledge with others about the history, etiquette, and news about the cigar industry. I also run a website that specializes in selling cigar accessories