clint

A question on rh beads.

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I'm putting some 65% beads into my coolidor which is holding steady at 70%. Will the beads automatically bring the rh down to 65% or do I still have to charge them?

Thanks.

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The beads works both ways,so if you want to bring down the RH just don't charge them.

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Yup...

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The beads works both ways,so if you want to bring down the RH just don't charge them.

+1

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Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I probably would have charged them so I'm glad I asked. :(

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I'm a firm believer in not adding moisture when I'm trying to decrease humidity :)

I thought that maybe they had to be moistened a bit to activate them.

Update: The beads have been in the cooler for a week now and the rh is steady at 72%, so 2% higher than when I added them... :(

The humidity has been very high the past few days so I guess maybe they are doing something, but by my calculations there are more than enough beads for the small space and I was expecting to see the rh closer to 65%.

I checked the beads and they are still dry. I'm pretty sure my hygrometer is accurate but I think I'll do a salt test anyway.

Do the beads take a long time to work? Maybe I need to put a small fan in the cooler to move the air around a bit?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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I Recently moved to beads myself and had a very similar issue.

The beads may have already absorbed too much moisture and cannot absorb anymore. This can happen (from my limited experience) even if the beads are not completely translucent. I suggest taking the beads out of the humi, and letting them dry up in a dry environment. If you don't have one (because the RH outside is too high), you can try to use a blow drier on a very mild\cold setting, and blow air on the beads until they are bright white. I haven't tried the blow drier thing, but I read about it on this forum.

Let us know how it turns out.

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I thought that maybe they had to be moistened a bit to activate them.

Update: The beads have been in the cooler for a week now and the rh is steady at 72%, so 2% higher than when I added them... :peace:

The humidity has been very high the past few days so I guess maybe they are doing something, but by my calculations there are more than enough beads for the small space and I was expecting to see the rh closer to 65%.

I checked the beads and they are still dry. I'm pretty sure my hygrometer is accurate but I think I'll do a salt test anyway.

Do the beads take a long time to work? Maybe I need to put a small fan in the cooler to move the air around a bit?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Clint, the reason the humidity is still high is becasue thermoelectric wine coolers give off condensation when they run a lot. Thats why there ususally is drip tray or drain at the bottom of coolers. Those beads are only going to absord so much moisture. My aristocrat does the same thing. If you put some spanish cedar shelves in it, that will help absorb some of the moisture too..

Chris

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Clint, the reason the humidity is still high is becasue thermoelectric wine coolers give off condensation when they run a lot. Thats why there ususally is drip tray or drain at the bottom of coolers. Those beads are only going to absord so much moisture. My aristocrat does the same thing. If you put some spanish cedar shelves in it, that will help absorb some of the moisture too..

Chris

Actually mine's not that sophisticated, it's just a regular coleman cooler. :D

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Probably best to calibrate your hygrometer and see what comes of it. Personally I prefer the Boveda calibration packs over salt. I used to get RH% that were a tad high until I switched to Boveda, then realized the hygrometers were off.

How big is the cooler? It wouldn't hurt to add a small oust fan in there to move the air around.

One possibility, albeit small, is you received the wrong RH% beads. I've seen that happen before.

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I thought that maybe they had to be moistened a bit to activate them.

Update: The beads have been in the cooler for a week now and the rh is steady at 72%, so 2% higher than when I added them... :D

The humidity has been very high the past few days so I guess maybe they are doing something, but by my calculations there are more than enough beads for the small space and I was expecting to see the rh closer to 65%.

I checked the beads and they are still dry. I'm pretty sure my hygrometer is accurate but I think I'll do a salt test anyway.

Do the beads take a long time to work? Maybe I need to put a small fan in the cooler to move the air around a bit?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Clint,

A few personal, non - scientific observations.....

rh beads are a silica product conditioned to maintain a certain level of humidity. My personal take is that in humid conditions, you need more than advertised

to maintain that humidity level. An insulated cooler is a great way to easily maintain climate, but I've also found it helps to keep the cooler in as stable an

environment as possible - I keep mine in my basement, and have little trouble.

I think beads are a great product, especially for a non-active set-up, but I do not doubt that they are affected by ambient climate - they would be more

effective in a heated / cooled environment than one which is not, for example.

It can't hurt to calibrate your hygros - I try to do it at least twice a year, but even doing that, I use them as kind of a guideline - that is, I don't view the

readings as gospel, so to speak.

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Are you using enough beads for the space you are trying to manage? Rule of thumb with beads is more than you need is always better....Typically you want to moisten about 70% of the beads, they will be completely clear when moistened and the dry beads will be noticeably white....I have been using them for about a year now ( 100 quart cooler, 50 quart cooler and 150 count humi), when I first put them in it took about 2 or 3 weeks for them to stabalize completely...I use 65%rh beads and they hold very close....they take time to stabalize, best thing you can do is minimize opening until they have...

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My wine fridge is being strange too:

I only need a pound and a half of beads but I put in 3lb of 65% (the more the better) and all three of my hygrometers are reading around 70%. The thing is that without any beads it runs at about 60%.

The room it is in is aobout 19c (I have the cooler set at 18 so it comes on maybe 5 times a day for a minute) and has a humidity of about 55/60%.

So I need that extra 5% rh from the beads but as soon as I put them in, boom up to 70%rh. I only put in two of the 4 recommended tablespoons of distilled water on the beads to activate them.

So yeah slightly confused at the moment!

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You guys are doing it all wrong ! Get rid of the beads. Just read the article about the 1 year anniversary of LCDH in Phnom Penh in the article the CEO of PCC suggests using potato and a plastic bag! :lol:

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You guys are doing it all wrong ! Get rid of the beads. Just read the article about the 1 year anniversary of LCDH in Phnom Penh in the article the CEO of PCC suggests using potato and a plastic bag! :unsure:

You had me there for a sec....:-)

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If your humidity keeps raising and you use beads, make sure to use a hairdryer on the beads when they soak up all the moisture they can. This resets them to dry and helps you keep the humi from spiking again. I live in a very humid house in the summer and I have to play with my beads a lot.

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You had me there for a sec....:-)

It is actually written in the article.

"Use a zip lock bag and a potato" and he goes on to say you need to smoke them as soon as possible.

The potato gives out humidity.

My first advice to newbies is, don't buy a cigar box, buy a humidor first.

The Humidor should be the first buy to any aspiring cigar smoker.

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It is actually written in the article.

"Use a zip lock bag and a potato" and he goes on to say you need to smoke them as soon as possible.

The potato gives out humidity.

My first advice to newbies is, don't buy a cigar box, buy a humidor first.

The Humidor should be the first buy to any aspiring cigar smoker.

+1

I was lucky with the first few cigars I had, they happened to be tubed and I just happened to keep them in my sock draw. I wasn't even aware of humidity until I realised that I wanted/needed to buy more!

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Frankly gentlemen there is a lot of bunk information about beads running around. Beads are a desiccant. All desiccants and most hydroscopic matter has a sorption isotherm. That in layman's terms is a graph of how much water it will hold at a given temperature.

This plays into a field called water activity and ERH.

Rather than write a diatribe do this. Dry your beads according to instructions. If you have an accurate scale it would be better to weigh them first. Oven baking them will likely be the best but i don't want you to ruin them, so follow their directions. Dry them out! Don't do this after smoking jerky in the oven, or you will have cigars that smell like a dog food factory.

If you are able to weigh them, then weigh them again when cool. The difference is how much water you removed. Just take note!

Test your humidor for a few days without the beads at all. Owning a data logger helps but you can check a few times a day and set up a spreadsheet.

If your cigars are at or near what you like you don't need the beads at all today! In any event you can recondition them with your cigars and the air in your humidor as the objects with the highest water energy. I am guessing but I say add 1/3 of the amount of water (in weight) that you removed form them, back to them, mix them up and put them back. Watch the system and log the temps and RH for several days. Is your RH going down or up? What is the temperature?

You must understand that RH beads have a sorption isotherm, so does the air in your humidor (we call it RH) and so does your cigars. All these "elements" are competing for "free water" based on water activity. Water moves from highest water activity to lowest. The air, the cigars, the beads all freely exchange water. The one with the most water always loses! It is thermodynamics and chemistry at work... well, and biology.

It is important that you set a desired temperature even if your environment changes and you have no control over it. For example; if today you look at your humidor and it is reading 70 RH at 70 deg. F. and you like it great. You come back and it is reading 75 RH at 65 deg. F (just an example) things might not have changed in your humidor and monkeying around with your beads is a waste of time. You need to understand that RH changes with temperature and if you don't open your sealed container, the water content remained constant. Only compare RH numbers at a given or desired temperature. Wait for that temperature to take your reading, or chart a number of temps and RH's with a spreadsheet to accomplish the same thing.

You need to take all your readings based on the same temperature or you will be pulling out your hair. A sealed system will range in RH as the temp changes. As a matter of empirical evidence, beads "may" reduce this effect as their water activity curve may compensate some for the effect. I am still doing experiments on this effect. It is all pretty interesting!

Start dryer and add small, measured amounts of water at a time. Beads, fan supported, can homogenize an environment rather quickly. One pound of desiccant can hold a lot of water, enough to float your cigars, the key is small movements and patients and an understanding of knowing what you are doing.

I have a theory that I am working on based on "mutual conditioning." In these cases, the hard work is done by the conditioning process and coasting is done after all the elements in your humidor are all mutually conditioned. Pre conditioned beads help the process, but you need to understand that 65 RH beads are not always 65 RH. They must conform to the laws of physics and as the temperature changes their water activity will also change. Once they are exposed to air they also begin to condition, or are conditioned by their new environment. They don't make or destroy water, they only hold it. It is frankly dishonest to market them as 65 RH beads. What needs to be told to the buyer is that they are 65 RH at a given temperature. Water activity varies with temperature and the beads obey all laws! The seller should indicate that the beads are at ERH (equilibrium relative humidity) at (a given temperature) and 65 RH.

Best of luck. -Piggy

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This is a test humidor with one of my fan operated bead systems in place. The humidor is a plastic box with... I just counted them... 14 boxes of cigars in it.

Now my cigars are conditioned. I used the boxes of cigars and about 4 ML of water to condition about 4 oz of silica crystals. Notice that even though the temperature has changed slowly the RH is very stable. I 'believe' this is due to the water activity of the desiccant and is aided by the flow of air in the humidor.

This test has my "bead box" running 24 hrs/day in the environment.

Cheers! -Piggy

post-79-1308508052.jpg

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