Monday 4 August 2014

HUMID OR NOT HUMID, THAT IS THE QUESTION - Proper humidification of a humidor

Proper humidification is easily one of the most discussed and debated facets of proper cigar care. And, as with any debated subject, there is a multitude of misinformation making its way to the unwary cigar connoisseur. Luckily, XIKAR has spent the time and effort to research the best way to provide your cigars the perfect humidification, and innovative ways to monitor the situation inside your humidor.

The traditional approach: Oasis sponge

The first step in protecting your cigars is bringing the humidor itself to the proper humidification, called 'seasoning'. During this process, the cedar wood of the humidor soaks in the humidification to reach a balanced microclimate inside the box. This can be done quite simply by placing a jar of XIKAR's Crystal Clear Humidification. Many people will say that this process can be sped up by wiping the inside of the humidor with a wet cloth. Do not do this! Humidity must be introduced slowly so as not to cause the cedar to swell or crack. Instead place the humidification jar inside the humidor for 2-3 days, until your hygrometer reads 65%-70%.

Crystal Clear (Xikar)

Crystal humidifier (Xikar)
After this is done, it is safe to place your cigars inside the humidor. Most will recommend you monitor your cigars with a digital hygrometer, and after you purchase a digital hygrometer, many will suggest that you need to calibrate the hygrometer to 70% via what is know as a "salt test".

This test involves creating a controlled environment that is a perfect 70%RH via a sealed climate and saltwater solution. However, XIKAR does not recommend the salt test as it has been found to be inaccurate when performed in anything but the most precise way. It is truly amazing the variables which can play a factor when determining the humidity of any environment, and thus render your salt test calibration invalid. Below are only a few of the factors which can affect the humidity of a given area:

-Size of microclimate or salt test area
-Strength of the airtight seal
-Impurities within the saltwater solution
-Ratio of salt to water within the saltwater solution

PuroTemp by Xikar

Any one of these variables can cause the calibration of a digital hygrometer to be inaccurate and thus, XIKAR has done away with the need for calibration at all! Instead, you will find XIKAR's PuroTemp™ Hygrometers have already been calibrated to lab grade reliability, ensuring that you always have the perfect picture of just how your cigars are resting. For more information on proper humidification, check out XIKAR's educational video here:

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