I don’t know about you but it’s the time of year I dread. Physically I enjoy the cold weather here in Maryland. What I can’t stand is the effect winter has on my humidor. It never fails, as soon as I kick on my heat pump, my house and thus my humidor gets drained of its humidity and the dry air takes its place. Past winters it has been a struggle to keep my humidity level at or above 60% RH and that’s with adding 50/50 solution every 3 days.
I’m hoping that the steps I’m taking this year will save me some time and lower my risk of drying out my stogies this winter. This is the first part of a two part series on what I’m doing to winterize my humidor.
Part 1 is in thanks to our friends, Patrick A. and Patrick S. over at Stogie Guys who a few months ago published an article describing how to perform a salt calibration test on a hygrometer.
I hope you find this video (14 minutes) as helpful as I have:
NOTE: In the video I say “hydrometer” like there is no tomorrow. I really mean to say “hygrometer”. Thank you to all for pointing this out and for not flaming me as a noob. Much love!
For step by step instructions visit the Stogie Guys and for more information and tips on keeping your stogies fresh check out the archives at Stogie Fresh.
17 thoughts on “Winterize Your Humidor (Part 1)”
Great vid, I really found it useful. Please keep up the great work and keep putting out these vids. They’re a tremendous help to a novice like myself. THANK YOU so much for your efforts.
Thanks for this useful info. I actually used a boveda bag to calibrate my hydrometer. Have you ever thought about using a cigar oasis to maintian humidity. I live in a very dry area. (30-35%rh most of the year) I have had my Oasis for several years now and I love it. One of my best investments. It takes hardly any maintence. Their website says 1 year but for an area as dry as mine it is more like every 6 months I need to refill the container, but hey its better then every 3 days.
Devin – Glad you enjoy the videos and find them useful! We didn’t think they would be this popular this fast but its totally enjoyable for us to record and share.
Jeremy – I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Cigar Oasis. I will admit that I haven’t researched it in awhile but the last time I did I didn’t think it would work for my setup since it required a power source and I didn’t feel like drilling a hole in the back of my humidor and the price tag of $100 sounded a bit steep at the time.
One thing I noticed from your video and comments is that you say hydrometer more often than not; but what you mean is hygrometer. Salt water aquarium guys will wonder what the hell you are doing filling your humidor with water to test the relative humidity. Sorry for being so anal, I just wanted to make sure you were sharing the most accurate info as possible.
Thanks for all the tips and reviews you guys publish here, I am always looking to see if my RSS subscription has a new entry. Especially so for part two since I live just outside of Baltimore and this is my first winter using the Heartfelt beads.
zBob – You are absolutely correct. I got the word “hydrometer” stuck in my head because the instructions said “hydrometer” even though I know they meant “hygrometer”.
I’ve corrected the text in my post but I really don’t feel like going back to re-record the video. 🙂
Hey Jerry, no flames for “hydrometer”, but whasup with picking on my boy Jake Plummer? Just kidding bro. Good job on the video instructional for checking the calibration of your hygrometer. I do this for all 4 of mine every year just to be sure. If someone out there is still using the analog hygrometers, my advice is to check the calibration a couple times a year or more, They can get out of whack very easily.
Jerry- Nice post and video. I’m glad you found my instructions helpful.
zBob- Thanks for pointing out the difference between “hydrometer” and “hygrometer.” Like Jerry said, the mistake was mine. But I’ve got that corrected on our post now.
Nice slam on Plummer lol!
The $100 bucks is well worth it, trust me I am a very cheap person and would not advise someone to buy something not worth the price. Plus you don’t have to drill a hole in your humi. The power source has a tape connector that you slip in the small space created when you open your humi. Also the now have battery packs you can attach, not sure how it works since I use the plug. If you are looking for something low maintence this is it. Man, listening to myself I should start selling these for a living!!
Fritz – Hey man, I have Plummer on one of my fantasy teams and no matter how much I woot for that guy he always lets me down.
Jeremy – Thanks for the info. I checked out some of the new Oasis units and the battery packs are pretty cool. If I ever get a bigger humidor I may have to look into that as a solution. Any idea on how much space it takes (5 cigars)?
Nice video Jerry! I never knew I had to do this.
Also thanks for the many resources on the site. I never heard of the Dogwatch Social Club or cigar related podcasts but I’m hooked on their show…it will take me awhile to catch up on all their episodes.
I keep all my cigars in one room.
In the winter I use a room humidifier.
It helps a gret deal. Target puts them on clearance right before spring.
As far as the Salt test with Digital Hygrometers. My background includes electronics, and salt air and electronics equals problems. I stick with the humidipack.
erm… one of the problem you might have is that you are using a 50/50 solution every time you fill up. you only use the solution th e first time you fill up your humidifier, and then top it with distilled water. you can re-use the solution every 3-4 months to re-introduce the propyglycol particles in your humidor.
Glad you the kind of person that pays attention to details.
Why not work a little bit on the actual “cause”, and it will reduce the ‘symptom’ of the drying humidor?
Add a humidifier to your house. Not only will this help resuce the season affects on your furniture, framework, etc., but will help keep your skin, eyes, and sinuses from drying out so bad for those months. And the bigger benefit is that the moisture helps to hold the heat energy! So you could most likely get by with a slightly lower setting on your thermostat temperature – saving energy. Lower utility bills equals more dollars at the end of the month to purchase a few more cigars!
Speaking of paying attention to details – sorry about the spelling errors in my last post. I’m used to good ‘ol spellcheck.
One other nice benefit of a whole-house humidifier – it helps keep the static electricity ‘problem’ to a minimum.
Im in beautiful MN and have the same prob with a dry humidor, one thing that really helps as i only have a 150 count humi is to throw it in an air tight bag. When winter rolls round i take one of those vacuum bags you get to compress clothes and throw the humi in there. Since the moist air can’t escape you get your correct RH% pretty fast and it stays there.If you need an extra boost you can soak a piece of paper towel in your PG solution and leave it in the bag but out side of the humi.