Seasoning a Humidor
To season a humidor correctly generally takes about eight days. And to get it humidity-stable using the natural evaporation process can take a month or more! Some things you just canâ€™t hurry and humidor seasoning, er, proper humidor seasoning is one of them.
Here’s how we do our seasoning . This is done at a nominal room temperature of 78Â° F.
1. STERILIZE SPONGES in boiling water. Ring and rinse with distilled water.
2. UNPACK THE NEW HUMIDOR and remove all contents & packaging except the tray and dividers (if any).
3. REMOVE DUST AND DIRT FROM HUMIDOR INTERIOR using a sterilized sponge with all of the distilled water wrung out (sponge is slightly damp, not wet), wipe the interior of the humidor including the seams, top edges, corners, and the lid. This is executed by using only one side of sponge for every wipe. Then flip the sponge and use the other side. Use as many sponges as necessary without spreading any dirt around. The object here is to remove the dust and dirt, not make the wood wet.
4. REMOVE DUST AND DIRT FROM HUMIDOR TRAY & DIVIDERS using the same method as Step #3 above.
5. HUMIDIFY THE HUMIDOR INTERIOR. First take four pieces of plastic about an inch larger than the sponge on all sides. Cling wrap works fine for this. Lay out two pieces of plastic in the bottom of the humidor and two pieces of plastic in the tray. Then take two sterile sponges and soak with distilled water. Squeeze some excess water from it so it is still very full of water but doesn’t drip from the sponge. Place a saturated sponge on each of the protective plastic sheets on the bottom of the humidor. Repeat the process for the tray (if any). At this time, place the dividers in the bottom of the humidor, just leaning against the sides across the corners. We want to season them in the process as well. Insert the tray into the humidor.
6. In the dead center of the tray, place the analog hygrometer face up. Place two calibrated digital hygrometers, one on each side of the analog hygrometer. This will ascertain the accuracy of the analog hygrometer as the seasoning process moves along. Close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.
7. After 48 hours, open the humidor lid and note the humidity level. It should be between 82% and 92% on the digital hygrometers. Write down the digital readings and the analog readings and note the difference between analog and digital, if any. Now, replace the four sponges with fresh (and sterile) saturated sponges. Itâ€™s best to prepare the sponges first and have them ready to go when removing the old set. This minimizes the open lid time. After replacing the sponges, close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.
8. After the second 48 hours has passed, open the lid and note the humidity level. It should still be between 82% and 92% on the digital hygrometers. Write down the digital readings and the analog readings and note the difference between analog and digital, if any.
9. After the second humidity readings are taken, remove all four of the sponges. After removing the sponges, close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.
10. PREPARE A LARGE HUMIDIFIER WITH PG SOLUTION (or beads). After the third 48 hours has passed, open the humidor lid and insert a humidifier on the bottom of the humidor (below the tray). This humidifier should be properly charged with PG solution. We use humiPUREâ„¢, a humidifier charging solution consisting of DowÂ® pharmaceutical grade propylene glycol and deionized water. We use a large humidifier here (200 count) since we donâ€™t know how long it will be until the humidor gets adopted by a nice cigar-loving owner. The employment of a larger humidifier makes the recharging cycle much shorter. At home, use whatever size humidifiers come with your humidor. Close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.
11. Once 48 hours have passed after installing the charged humidifier, open the lid to the humidor and note the humidity level. It should not have changed (dropped) by more than a percent, if any. Write down the digital readings and the analog readings and note the difference between analog and digital, if any.
12. Leave the humidor lid open for a few minutes, and then close it for 24 hours.
13. After 24 hours, check the humidity. At this time, adjust the analog hygrometer to reflect the digital readings, if necessary. Close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for another 24 hours.
14. Repeat Step 13. And continue to repeat until hygrometer is calibrated. At this point, even though the humidity is going to be very high (85%) or greater, it is the air in the humidor that contains the excess humidity. When you insert the cigars, they will absorb the humidity which will, in a day or so depending on the aridity of your cigars, taper off to the 70% level that is stabilized by the humidifier charged with PG solution. This is an interesting point in the process.
Even though you may choose to stop here, we do not. We allow the humidity to stabilize naturally, by allowing the humidified air to evaporate through attrition. Given that the humidor is airtight, this takes an extremely long time, often several weeks, depending on the size of the humidor. But allowing the humid air to stabilize at 70% over time, the humidor interior and the internal air become homogeneous.
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