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Hey folks. My wineador setup: Cybercool 28 bottle TE. 3-4 pounds of Heartfelt 65% beads. 4 120mm fans down the bottom. 4 120mm fans up the top. The fans run for 15 minutes on, 30 minutes off. Also tried 15 minutes every hour. No matter how often they run - top remains fairly stable. 2 SC shelves & 2 SC drawers by John. About 6 packs of Boveda 65%. Cigar Oasis Plus. Removed foam for Beads. 1 pound of kitty litter up the back of the cooler over the drain hole. The Wine cooler is controlled using an Inkbird, it turns the unit on/off, it also turns the humidifier on/off. It's set to 19°C and 65% RH. The bottom, middle, and upper middle are all in the 60 - 67% range - which is fine. The top, however, is always 70% or more. I'm not a fan of that. I've tried re-arranging beads, hoping dry beads could get the humidity up the top down. Tried putting all beads in 1 drawer. That doesn't work. So I'm at a loss. I did wait 2 days for any beads to reach any sort of equilibrium. I didn't expect instant results - hence I waited. It's only the top level. Everything else is fine for me. I know 70% RH isn't harmful, but I'd like it down to 65%. The beads that aren't dry are fine - they don't need spritzing very often. The shelves/drawers are well prepared. They were wiped down multiple times. I had Boveda seasoning packs with them for well over 4 months. So that's out of the picture. I also had the shelves/drawers sitting for about 2 weeks with nothing, so they're not releasing humidity, either. Basically, the top is too high for my liking. Every other level is fine. At a loss for what to do. Does anyone have any ideas?
As many of you know I am always building something new in the shop. Humidor perfection is a goal that I never attain yet always attempt. I had a member contact me about humidors the other day (noting new about that) but he wanted to see some of what is entailed in a CigarClimatology humidor. Here is a brief glimpse into Piggy's lair and a sneak peak at a new Gen 12 humidor. Cheers! -Piggy Gen 12 Humidor Build Tour
There is a lot in the analysis of humidor performance based on how you look at data. Take this case in point. I often look at raw data from my data loggers in a highly compressed, macro perspective. While this view can leave you, will leave you, without much in the way of detail, it will help you espy trends and shifts, and even corrections needed to your system. Here is the first data log. Now I data log this test box everyday, unless I forget to download the logger and reset it. I test a lot of stuff in this box. I house a few boxes of cigars in here plus my frauds collection. The cigars just take up space as I use the humidor for some overflow and to park cigars while I move them around, or have no other place to put them. This is a 'working' humidor, tuned to work in the real world and not tuned to find utopian results. This humidor works in my shop, not in my home and I keep cigars in it even when the temps in the shop exceed 90˚F. If you look at the data streams, the data is so compressed that it gives you an overwhelming sense of the highs and lows, the extremes, while obscuring the data in between the highs and lows. One of my clients needed a low profile humidifier and I chose this box to test it. What I have not liked about how this humidifier works in this cooler, is the deep low-end extreme values that the humidifier produced in this cooler. It is important to note, that at my level, sometimes the slightest change in your humidor design will produce profound effects. This is one such case. So what I did here is to replace my standard 26CFM fan with a 36CFM fan. I wanted to match the rate at which the cooling would strip water from the humidor with a humidifier that would meet or match that rate when the humidifier was operating. Now, this philosophy is not without risk. You can overshoot your system parameter when you use the approach, and empirical testing is the only means to determine if you have succeeded! Here is the micro look at what these cooling cycles look like. You can clearly see the system cool and the humidifier compensating for the loss of humidor water as the system cools. This is one logger, logged through my controller sensor so it is time aligned. The deep rH cycles are of course the result of cooling cycles, some of which can be cured by tuning the activation logic. Since this logic approach will ultimately affect the way the humidor as a hole runs, and I could 'tune it' for a specific result, I deliberately chose not to do so here. Like I said, I generally 'tune' humidors to run in the real world, not to provide limited 'perfection' to post about. I could tweak this thing to look damn good on the logger but that is not my point nor my goal. A robust working humidor is my ultimate goal. There are a lot of factors that go into making decisions about this "robust working humidor" philosophy. None of which I am going to cover here. I just wanted to say, if I was hell bent on tweaking this for a 'better log,' I could do it, but would consider it cheating! Here is what happened when I changed the fan... Wow! What you can see here is the rapid rate of hydration that the new fan provides. For now, I will call this one a success. Of course there may be lurking a specter of overshoot if the right conditions are met. Now I have studied the cooler function now for several days and I don't think it is going to happen, but it still could under the right circumstances. Lets look finally at the micro view. It too is very telling. One of the keys to knowing that I have succeeded here is in seeing that the initial running of the humidifier during cooling actually is halted by programming, it is overpowering at this stage, as it overproduces water initially, requiring a shutdown and restart. Look at the chart and you will see it all. ... now a little activation logic tweak... maybe. -LOL It never ends...! That another day! Thanks for reading! Prof. Piggy
There has been considerable talk in the Humidor forum as of late regarding the “dehydration process.” In a recent topic about a walk-in humidor project it was mentioned as a recommendation by a tobacconist that a new walk-in be built without sealing it, assuming that the exterior ambient would provide sufficient diffusion of water so that no dehydration process would be necessary. It was at least implied, as I read it, that without leakage and transfer of water to the outside environment, the humidor would over hydrate. That ‘leaving the door open’ or leakage to the outside macroclimate would solve the problem. I find it interesting that dehydration is rarely a topic of humidor study unless I bring it up! In talking to a lot of smokers looking to solve humidor problems, I find it one of the main reasons a cigar enthusiast contacts me. It does appear, at least to me, that this important topic is all but ignored by the mainstream community and humidor builder alike. It would appear also, that many of the folks that I speak with have some sort of issue with high rH. It also appears, that most folks live with it rather than deal with it… While I am not going to bore you with an in-depth discussion of how I solve the problem, I do find it an interesting topic. After studying hundreds of charts of humidor performance, I thought I would parse down yet another chart of one of my humidors to show how I deal with the issue. Of course you need the proper appliances and controls to meet the foe of over-hydration in order to beat it down! I use refrigeration to perform the task, as there is little that strips water from space like a cold plate that is at or below the dew point. Chart A shows an overall view of the process. The chart shows one of my humidors at work in my lab at about 3am. For the record the outside conditions are such that the heater is running in the humidor to keep the temperature up. This has little actual effect on the process itself, but it does act to keep the temperature in the range that I wish to store. Repeated dehydration cycles when the ambient is below the storage set point would eventually decrease the heat and temperature in the humidor over time. This is off topic! Chart B be gives you an idea about how a sealed humidor will act at a low temperature and the duration of the natural cycle of a sealed humidor to over saturate itself with water if left to its own devices. As you can see, it takes 9 to 10 minutes to move from a low-end rH condition to a high-end rH condition in this particular ambient set of conditions. Chart C shows some of the dehydration process and the duration of the dehydration cycle. The dehydration cycle itself runs about a minute and a half. It should be noted that most processes in humidors overshoot their run times. Knowing how to deal with this is learned empirically and learning how to produce desired results is borne out of experience. There is no handbook for it! Only testing and experimentation will yield these kinds of results. Knowing when, how and how long to run appliances is as much art as science. The two square-wave signals are generated by my appliances to track their performance. What you see here is the time line of these appliances actually switching on and off. Without such data I would simply be guessing at where and what to adjust. I thought it would be interesting to show how precision instrumentation performs to keep my humidor ‘in line’ so I included the signals on the chart. This is ‘inside baseball stuff,’ but I thought it might be informative. If I analyze the chart with my software the actual range for the rH throughout the cycle is only about 1.5rH. A cooling cycle itself will take a greater toll as it is easier to remove water than to cool air but that is another story. In my opinion a sealed humidor with an active (wet) humidifier requires a dehydration cycle to remain within [my] limits. If you were at all interesting in how I came to that conclusion… well… this is how! Thanks for reading! -the Pig