Starting a Coolerdor

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I picked up a 41qt weather-tight container and placed 10 Boveda 69% packs and a Xikar hygrometer inside to start process of checking the calibration of the hygrometer. It looks like it is about 4 to 5 % off. I recently received some Spanish cedar wood pieces ( I ordered a cigar tray and received it broken) and placed them inside the container. After overnight I checked the meter and it is way way different. This morning it read 58% rh at 68* f. Would the pieces of cedar cause this much of a drop?

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Calibrate in a ziplock bag. An empty coolidor does not hold stead rh. Air does not hold rh as well as mass does. New cedar will drop rh.

I have 2 150qt Coleman extreme coolers, one with cedar shelves. 3lbs HF 60rh beads each. Twice the recommended amount but it keeps rh stable, longer. Holds steady at 62rh 70F.

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This is just general advice from what I've found over the years, not gospel by any means or the end word.  YMMV.


The RH will not really read correctly in a plastic container, being plastic it does not need seasoning as a cedar lined unit would. 


Worry about stabilizing your RH level once you get product in their for storage.  FWIW- I use 1/2lb of 65% Heartfelt beads in a 70qt cooler and it maintains RH level just fine- I use 1lb of the same beads in a 100 and 150qt cooler that maintain just fine as well.  Airflow is accomplished by opening the lid on any cooler once in awhile to grab a smoke to enjoy.


Salt test any hygro you have, it's easy and imo the most consistent method.  Any Interwebs search engine should turn up instructions.  I used to run digital hygros in all my coolers, but after years they have never really changed RH level so as the batteries have worn out, I have not replaced.  All my smokes come out just fine.


If you don't have much stock to store, see if you can get a few empty cedar cigar boxes to store in there with the cigars you do have.  This will help stabilize the humidty, as box volume maintains humidity easier than just empty space.


Better yet, just buy enough boxes of smokes you like to fill up the space and you'll be ok.


Final word-  Buy a bigger unit than you think you need.  Trust me.....  you'll thank me later for that tidbit.   B)




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  • 6 months later...
On 7/20/2017 at 3:46 AM, NapalmMan67 said:


Final word-  Buy a bigger unit than you think you need.  Trust me.....  you'll thank me later for that tidbit.   B)




Too true! Back in the day I started with an 85qt and quickly added a 100qt cooler... Costco to the rescue!

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  • 2 years later...

Got a fishing cabin this year in Northern California and had to come up with a coolerdor strategy for this locale.  In San Francisco I had it easy: the family homestead had a cellar built into the foundation of native stone.  Stayed a nearly perfect 65/65 year round with a couple high humidity weeks in the winter that I solved with a 'peaking' dehumidifier for the room.  The cigars stayed in tupperdores with Bovedas inside all of which resided in cabinets.

The fishing cabin has a half dug out basement with dirt floor, but summer temps get to 100F and humidity to 20%rH, while in the winter it can drop to 30F at night (then 65F during the day) and 65%rH.

Thermal stability was the big problem.  I bought a 150qt Rubbermaid cooler and fitted it with two watertight Container Store storage cubes that I'd had for years for cigar storage (no more plastic smell!).  This worked great for taming the summer temperature swings, but the winter was a bigger problem.  I ended up sitting the cooler on top of two layers of reflective bubble insulation with a 100W sprouting mat and temperature controller on top of that; with the cooler sitting on both.  Now the internal temperature is a steady eddy 65-66F according to the probe of the temperature controller.  I care less about the absolute temperature than I care about its variability, so 1F was about as tight as I thought I could get it with this claptrap setup.  Keep in mind that's the temperature immediately inside the cooler, there's still significant stabilizing thermal mass in the Container Store watertight cubes, so I suspect the temperature variation within the cigar boxes within the cubes within the cooler is very small.  Boveda still provides the rH stability inside the cubes.

One note: the Rubbermaid cooler was the hardest unit to rid of plastic smell of any I've 'seasoned.'  Don't know why.  And when I put the sprouting heater mat under it the whole problem came back with a vengeance.  Fortunately the cigars were all in vapor tight boxes and remained unaffected.

Here's the sprouting mat that I used:

I initially tried one half a size smaller, but it couldn't keep up with the coldest temps.

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