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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been smoking cigars for about three months--with the ultimate goal of replacing cigarette smoking with cigars.
My question is: How often does one recharge the humidifier element in a small humidor(7"X51/4"X3")?
 

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At least for me this isn't easy to answer. It has a lot to do with what the humidity is outside the humidor. When it's dryer outside you'll have to recharge the humidistat more often. Generally if your humidor is more than half full, rapid fluctuations in humidity are less frequent (more stuff is humidified -- cigars absorb and give off moisture according to the environment that surrounds them). You may also have to refill less if you have more cigars in your humidor as long as your humidor is well built.

The best way to tell when you need to refill is by using a hygrometer. Anywhere between 60 and 70% relative humidity and you'll be safe. You may want to check your hygrometer with the "salt test" to see how accurate it is. Analog hygrometers are notoriously inaccurate. Digital hygrometers are the best but some can vary wildly too. A lot of folks have very specific humidities, even temperatures, they prefer. You can experiment with the hymidity to find where your cigars smoke the best. Just avoid real high humidities and temperatures for extended periods. I think that you should sweat bullets over humidity and temperature only after you really get into this as a hobby and you're looking at some serious storage issues (buying several boxes at a time/laying away to age for year(s) etc). If what your store is for the short term; don't worry.

Eventually you will be able to tell by giving your cigars a visual check and a squeeze test at their feet. When you squeeze the foot of a cigar (gently) it should be firm but with a spring. It should farily quickly take its former shape. It shouldn't be spongy or squishy or take a long time to go back into shape. That's a sign of too much humidity. It also shouldn't be so dry as to make brittle cracking noises (if it's too dry you literally will crack the leaf) when you gently sqeeze the foot -- the brittle firmness that you feel is a sign of underhumidification. You can also use the ring bands as a guide line. If your cigars are fresh, they should fit firmly and not move too much. If these same cigars are underhumidified for a time, then the bands will become loose and maybe even fall off when you pick the cigar out. However if you have an older cigar (let's say older than a year), the band may move a bit on its own because as cigars age they get slightly smaller (mostly in width and less so in length) from the loss of moisture and oils. If you storage is small and you develop this sense well enough, you might not need a hygrometer at all.

Generally in my desktops, I end up refilling every month or so in the winter and less often in the summer. How often you have to refill will depend on the humidity outside your humidor, how well your humidor and humidistat are made and how many cigars you have in your humidor.

I hope this helped some. My appologies also if you're familiar with much of this.
-E
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. It was just the kind of information I was looking for. You were correct in assuming that the cigars in my humidor are there for a relatively short stay. I'm at the the stage where I tend to buy three or four cigars individually or maybe a sample pack. If and when I get more serious about this, I'll invest in a larger humidor and a digital hrgrometer.
chasman
 

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Glad to help. If and when you do decide to make the next step in storage, I'm sure there are many here that can give advice and offer suggestions.

Good smoking!
-E
 
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