Thursday, December 12, 2013

The winter humidity battle

Winter is in full swing in most parts of the country and for cigar smokers it's a war in our humidor. The colder air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air creating a much dryer environment. To warm the air we run our furnace or hear pump to heat the inside of our home. This can create a humidity issue in even the most tightly sealed humidors as it further dries out the air. The dry air will begin to pull moisture from the wood in your home and even the wood used to build your humidor. I have fought this battle for the last few years with great frustration. I have re-seasoned my humidors, added extra humidification devices, and even tried putting a shot glass of distiller water inside my humidors. I think I may have finally figured out the best, or atleast easiest, way to fight the battle. This year I pulled out the large home humidifier but it hasn't seemed to stop the increasing dryness inside my home and my humidor. As I sat staring at the readout on my hygrometer I was reminded that the shot glass of distiller water or pg solution was probably my best idea. It had not worked well for me in the past but I needed to figure out why. After all, if a container of water doesn't bring the moisture level up then would possibly could right. This surface area of the liquid wasn't enough to allow good evaporation. I took that same distiller water and poured it onto a clean paper towel. I then placed that paper towel into a ziplock bag and placed it inside one of my humidors. I made sure to keep the bag upright and just barely cracked so as not to wet anything. With the secured wet paper towel nestled between a box of Sosa Classic maduros and a box of macanudo vintage, I went off to bed. I awoke the next morning thinking I would still be seeing a 60% or lower RH . I was pleasantly surprised to see the RH at 69% and holding. I didn't want to press my luck and introduce too much moisture into my stable environment so I removed the baggy and closed the front door on the humidor. It held for about two weeks, until the temperature took another downward plunge and the air became very dry again. I am getting ready to place a fresh paper towel into a baggy and insert it back into the humidor tonight. This may not be the appropriate way to handle the dry air issue but it worked well for me. If you have any experience or good advice for battling the low wintertime RH, please feel free to post it in the comments. Happy smoking!

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