wolfain

Wineador (compressor type)

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Hello all! Just needed some advice on this matter. Been searching all over and read up on many threads with conflicting info. Anyway;

I currently have a thermoelectric wineador setup, but it's getting full. So I was thinking of buying another wineador (bigger one but compressor) for long term storage.

I'm familiar with the potential problems/issues of using a compressor storage unit.

1) I was thinking compressor (because it's more readily available and bigger). That being said, I intend to place my cigar boxes in individually passive RH controlled tupperwares then subsequently into the compressor winedor for temperature control.

2) is this a viable idea? Various boxes in various tupperwares and then into the wineador?

3) will the cigars age properly in these 'sealed' airtight tupperware / plastic lock boxes?

4) do you need proper airflow to age cigars? I figured not only a 65%RH (ballpark) will help with storage and aging and a temp of 18c will do wonders for the cigars. Correct me if I'm wrong!

I leave In a tropical climate (singapore), temperature is constantly around 28-29c and humidity around 80-90%RH.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi Wolfain,

I have recently completed a project with fellow forum member Ray, aka Pigfish. I sincerely believe I have the best possible humidor that I could wish for. In my humidor/wineadore I have stored cabs and dress boxes and even openly exposed cigars on a cedar tray and they are doing brilliantly. So to answer your questions:

1. Yes there are plenty of models to choose from

2. Yes it is viable. I don't even need to use airtight tupperware, though I could if I wished to.

3. Cannot comment on that as I don't know with certainty.

4. I think airflow is very important. The fans in Ray's system will achieve what you will need and assist in keeping an even humidity.

I suggest you search some posts to understand what Ray can offer.

Cheers

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Hi Soutso

Thanks for replying. I have read a lot of pigfish's posts. Crazy amount of info but most times confusing to me!

I thought airtight is necessary because of the volatile fluctuation in humidity because of compressor units..

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Hi Wolfain,

Yes there is a lot of information out there and it's hard to digest at times.

Just so that we are clear, I am not pushing Ray's gear here, I have purchased it and the results have been precisely what I've wanted. The aim of my post was to point out that compressor units can be a great option.

I have purchased Ray's product and the unit I have does not have volatile fluctuations in humidity. In fact I can safely store cigars out in the open, out of their boxes and certainly not in a container. (Though you may wish to store in containers if that is part of a long term aging strategy where you are trying to control air)

My unit keeps RH very consistent as well as temp.

I am more than happy to answer your questions as best I can but if you are interested in learning more, you're best contacting Ray.

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I think of airflow as necessary solely for keeping humidity even. I don't think air blowing over your cigars is going to be good for aging though; that will only increase the loss of any volatile oils. It may seem like it's doing something good for the first 6 months, but you sticks won't have long legs, like 10 years or more. That's all just my unscientific opinion.

If you've got cigars, in boxes, in tuppers, in the wineador then; while the wineador will fluctuate +/- X degrees, you won't see that same fluctuation in the cigars in the boxes in the tuppers. Just exactly what variation you'll see is unknown until you track the data, but I would expect it to be a very small and acceptable variation.

However if you install a better controller in your wineador such that it's temperature is more tightly controlled, then you can do without the tuppers and boxes as a way of keeping your cigars stable, but I still think you need them to keep in all the lovely compounds that make a cigar flavorful. You wouldn't age a bottle of wine without a cork would you? :cigar:

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Wolfy, you have asked a lot of questions. Some are items that I can address with facts and others, other members (as well as I) can guess at.

I don’t tend to answer questions about aging much, simply because I don’t believe in it as a ‘cause.’ Aging to me, happens when you own more cigars than you can smoke in one day… I think aging is misunderstood. While this may come off as a rather rude generalization, I think many mistake the ‘age affect’ as well as other ill and positive effects on cigars and wrongly attribute them to age, lack of age and other collector inspired cigar myths. I have found that when people don’t know or trust their own judgment and observations, they rely on the mainstream to think for them and that often means that they rely on myth…! That is just one man’s opinion.

Aging is not my specialty. Precision cigar storage is.

There are many, many ways and ideas on how to store cigars. My way is just one of them. My way is, in my humble opinion, the best way. But my opinion does not make any other opinions less viable or relevant.

There are many ways to cool air and the water that is vaporized in it… Pick one! I choose a compressor, or evaporative type cooler because I can utilize their power and efficiency. Apparently few if any others can.

There is a cigar board myth about TE coolers, that they don’t dehydrate the microclimate. That is hogwash from those that never heard of or used a data logger. This is a fact…

The best way to cool cigar storage is slowly and evenly. A water bath really is the best way. No one does this short of a scientist looking for the most stable environment that they can attain. I don’t do it… We are still talking about cigars after all, and not the development of new drugs…

Compressor cooler are best because they have the ability cool quickly and absorb the most heat rapidly. This means that you can run a system in higher deltas (differentials from your ambient to your desired storage point) or set point. It means a system that is more flexible to more environments. That is one reason why I use them. I have managed to tame these environments with design and technology. It is not easy… Ask Nik (the member that was first to answer your question).

Another reason is my definition of stability. Stability, lets call it the “S” of the humidor is not simply subject to my rules or opinions. It is subject you and yours… If you pull a cigar from your humidor and like it, if you subsequently cannot find error in your storage that you can associate with your humidor such that it affects the way your cigars smoke, then the “S” of your system is all you need! There is no need to spend the time nor the money on one of mine!

In all fairness, by my definition many humidors, even some of those commercially made “don’t work.” My definition of “S” therefore is far different than most others.

While I am always willing to take on more work, objectively you need to look at what you currently use and decide if that is good enough for you. If so, you may be satisfied by a system that in my mind does not work. Please, don’t take offence to this, it is not pointed, just an academic evaluation of my own standards and my observation of the standards of others.

Are you dissatisfied with your current humidor and its design? If yes, then why? If no, then why change? Since by my definition most homemade wine cooler conversions don’t work, there is little difference in one made with a compressor or a TE cooler. If it does not work, it does not work in my book…

This exercise and evaluation is actually being done for your benefit (believe it or not). I spell it out this way because precision and proof of performance costs money. You have to make a commitment to make a wine cooler work as a humidor. If your 28 bottle wine cooler works in your eyes, then you can simply do the same thing with a compressor cooler and get similar results. I have to ask, why change?

First I suggest that you analyze what you have and if it works for you. If it does you don’t need my services. Furthermore my advice may just take you to a place that you don’t want to go! Of course I am happy to help you if I can, but if you are designing a system that I define as not functional, my advice is marginalized if not totally worthless to you.

My role here on the board is partly to help people solve specific problems with the use of science and my experience. Anyone can help you build a humidor that does not work… You need to decide for yourself what works and what does not and if you sharpen your pencil and find that what you are using is not cutting it for a specific reason, I am happy to point you in the right direction.

Again, I hope this is not too harsh to digest. Don’t look for complex solutions if the simple ones, the inexpensive ones work well for you. I specialize in those that are dissatisfied, typically for specific reasons. Satisfied people don't usually contact me. I get the hard cases usually.

Once you go there, and decide your system does not work you won’t come back to it… You may get stuck in my world of you go looking for it. You have been warned!!! –LOL

-the Pig

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There is a cigar board myth about TE coolers, that they don’t dehydrate the microclimate. That is hogwash from those that never heard of or used a data logger. This is a fact…

Ray great post. Though would you mind expanding on the comment above.

My TE cooler (with 2.5 pounds beads) maintains steady rh% and temp on my data logger. This is tested both inside + outside boxes. In summer the ambient temp is higher than in cooler months, but temp/ rh logs are still steady. I've had this unit running for around 2 years, and the cigars are smoking well to my tastes so far.

But my logger is not an expensive unit - around $50 (cant recall brand right now), might it not be doing a good enough job recording what is happening? Or anything else I am missing in relation to what the TE might be or might be doing for my stock for the longer haul ?

I've also got another new compressor cooler (Vintec wine fridge - subject to a different thread here), that is giving me issues with wild swings in rh% every time the compressor kicks in - but that's another story.....*sigh*

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Thanks Ray for the extensive post. Yes I have no clue how to 'perfect' a compressor unit for cigars in terms of RH and temp. I'm now looking at a 84 bottle compressor unit because it only costs 15% more as compared the 52btl one. Perhaps I need your employ your advice and service because I have no time to figure it out. I had a pain of a time stabilizing my 28 bottle thermo with passive (HF beats+boveda) + active humidifier (oasis)

Problem is my ambient is 28-29c and my int temp is 18c (Max I can go). RH sits at 63% now. Smokes are ok. I know you had an extensive discussion on RH & AH, and humidity isn't what it seems etc. so much science! (I suck at that)

You're right, a compressor is more suited for my climate but only with the proper systems in place. I'm clueless on how to install an ETC, etc etc. pls help! Let me know what I can get from you in terms of services.

Much appreciated.

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Ray great post. Though would you mind expanding on the comment above.

My TE cooler (with 2.5 pounds beads) maintains steady rh% and temp on my data logger. This is tested both inside + outside boxes. In summer the ambient temp is higher than in cooler months, but temp/ rh logs are still steady. I've had this unit running for around 2 years, and the cigars are smoking well to my tastes so far.

Let me just say, Ray points out that "the myth that TE fridges DO NOT DEHYDRATE THE CLIMATE" is untrue. The system you have might work ery well, it just means that your dehydration from the TE is balanced by the rehydration of your beads. You are still indeed loosing moisture when the TE is kicking in. That is fact.

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I think it's about cooling efficiency.

A compressor model runs for a shorter period of time to provide the necessary cooling, compared to a TE model. The TE model might have a fan running 24/7 which would be more energy consuming than the compressor model that only kicks on for 5 minutes ever 2 or 3 hours.

The cooling plate of a TE and the cooling coil of a compressor model is what does the dehydrating. The metal surface is colder than the dew point of the air, and hence moisture condenses on the plate or coil. If you have a TE model with a massive plate then that's more surface area for condensation to occur. There are many things involved in this i imagine and i am certainly no expert.

At the end of the day what works for me may not work for you... it doesn't mean either method is wrong.

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Ray great post. Though would you mind expanding on the comment above.

My TE cooler (with 2.5 pounds beads) maintains steady rh% and temp on my data logger. This is tested both inside + outside boxes. In summer the ambient temp is higher than in cooler months, but temp/ rh logs are still steady. I've had this unit running for around 2 years, and the cigars are smoking well to my tastes so far.

But my logger is not an expensive unit - around $50 (cant recall brand right now), might it not be doing a good enough job recording what is happening? Or anything else I am missing in relation to what the TE might be or might be doing for my stock for the longer haul ?

I've also got another new compressor cooler (Vintec wine fridge - subject to a different thread here), that is giving me issues with wild swings in rh% every time the compressor kicks in - but that's another story.....*sigh*

Hi mate!

I am going to type away here for a bit in the hopes you can get an understanding of my role as an advisor about cigar climatology and the difference between me and what is commonly referred to as a guru. Please know, I reject gurus and guru status!

I appreciate all the respect that I am given for my posts and my work on this subject. None of those reasons or factors grant me exclusive domain over this topic. You know what they say about opinions!!!

While my opinions are well educated and experienced ones, they are not the final word. That must come from YOU (all).

This is one reasons that I prefer to work on specific problems more than generalities. I am a fanatic on the subject and well into the ultraviolet. No one must emulate what I do or espouse. One is not a lesser person, or a poor cigar “husband” for not following my dogma. Frankly… as the guy who is likely the most critical of gurus on this site, I would be a complete hypocrite to accept the status of one myself. I am not a hypocrite! I am not a guru!

So let’s start from a rhetorical position. Who the “f” am I to tell you that your humidor does not work? This should be the first question that you ask of anyone who is pontificating about your humidor, or anything else on the net… That is advice number one.

If your cigars smoke well, and you have no problems related to storage, or issues that are presumed to emanate from your storage method, you should not go looking for problems that don’t exist… You are giving yourself heartache and me too much credit all at the same time if you worry based on my writing alone and have no indication of problems.

Lets talk a little about why I write and how I write it. I am this way certainly due to an influence of ego as I think I am at the leading edge in what I do. I am also this way because I have seen (heard about and dealt with) countless issues based on homemade humidors both publically and privately. I trust my judgement and I have been proven right many times. It does not make me ‘always’ right. That, I am not….

So walking this back some, if you have made your own humidor out of a wine cooler and you have come up with your own ideas or emulated some of the common methods on the internet, you are not automatically wrong. You are no more automatically wrong than I am automatically right.

I ask you then to take what I know as advice and apply it at a level we will call vigilance. While I consider myself and expert here, I never go long periods without examining my humidors. Of course, many of mine are being tested and logged almost constantly. For a guy who builds systems that are as close to ‘set and forget’ as they come; I am the least likely of all smokers to do that.

I am not going to walk back my opinions about wine cooler humidors made by others, but I do want to clarify the position of who is, and who is not right. I am just another smoker on the net with an opinion. You should always question people like me… While I see myself as a guy that posts scientific data and proof, as well as opinion, and I do think I am different than most that opine on this subject, I should not go without challenge. The fact remains, you should not reject your own observations and wisdom as a result of my writing. I would like you to keep that in mind as you read what I write.

If I have a little time later I will get more into the specifics of your post. I just wanted to get this out. I appreciate the accolades and respect. I have worked hard on this subject and I think it shows. I would like my writing to inspire you and get you thinking; to get you to be vigilant about your humidor. Perhaps the vigilance uncovers a hidden problem or saves you some cigars and some money. What it should not do is minimize your view on the subject or cause you to subordinate your wisdom to mine.

Cheers! -Piggy

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... here is a refrigerant cooler working. Not just any cooler by the way, but one of my designs.

Notice the high frequency low amplitude changes. This is how I judge working. The miniscule changes in rH and temp are unnoticed by the cigars. They are reduced to small percentage moves that are accomplished quickly and over quickly. There is no protracted recovery periods from opening doors and picking cigars. They work in a vast range of delta T.

This unit will roll from heating to cooling back to heating again based on what the ambient demands. Here you see it working though 80+F in my shop. This is a working humidor and not a special test case. Hell, I can really make this chart look extreme if I tune the humidor to look good on paper. This is a working 'tune' and not tweaked for the camera. Furthermore it has been data logged with one of my lesser loggers! Typically I log for tuning through a precision sensor of my own running the controller as well as the logger. The systems work even better when viewed through the precision sensor verses the rather lackluster sensor of the stand alone logger.

post-79-0-93100900-1434489301_thumb.png

The crispness of the cycles and the low amplitude of the cycles are in part the result of designing around a rapid cooling, large heat sink appliance. While I am sure I can vastly improve the performance of a TE cooler, there is not a chance in hell that I am going to get one to work like this one will at 90+ degrees F. No way...!

Cheers! -Piggy

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Ray's PHD in aerohumidor climate control is true I can concur, however you need to find what best suits your conditions.

Here is my 2 cents to confuse you even further:

1) I was thinking compressor (because it's more readily available and bigger). That being said, I intend to place my cigar boxes in individually passive RH controlled tupperwares then subsequently into the compressor winedor for temperature control.

[Response] If you want to choose a compressor type, have plenty of beads and a temperature controller unit to turn off the fridge

2) is this a viable idea? Various boxes in various tupperwares and then into the wineador?

[Response] Yes, however space will be your biggest challenge. Adding more boxes to boxes isn't ideal. You are better off using zip lock bags or small space saver bags that you can vacuum out the air

3) will the cigars age properly in these 'sealed' airtight tupperware / plastic lock boxes?

[Response] Yes. I would recommend, add a small Boveda bag in each sealed back you have just in case. Use a vacuum sealed space save (small one). this way you are less tempted to open.

4) do you need proper airflow to age cigars? I figured not only a 65%RH (ballpark) will help with storage and aging and a temp of 18c will do wonders for the cigars. Correct me if I'm wrong!

[Response] No see response to Q3. less surface area the better to age sticks.

To "Try" and avoid condensation in a warmer climate you either up you temp to 18.5 or have the ambient temp around you lower. Search the web for Dew Point charts...However ideal aging temps should be keep around 16-18'c. Even less if you speak to others.

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Jimsta, thanks for the excellent advice! I will definitely look into this

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Great posts Ray and everyone thank you! Much to consider there

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Hey guys I know this a old post but the only wine coolers I can find are with a compressor :( now I am thinking if put the boxes of cigars in ziplock backs with Boveda packs will that be ok? 

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