Seasoning factory boxes inside Ziplock bags?


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Hello, 

I keep my cigars inside a compressor wineador using Ziplock bags with Bovedas to maintain humidity at 65% RH.

Until some time ago, I only had cigars box that had thin wood, like entry level Partagas, H. Upmann, etc. 

Keeping 1 box per Ziplock w/ 65% Boveda was just perfect, with a precise humidity and temperature level (measured using Xikar hygrometer). 

Now I am starting to store some "better cigars" (full boxes) as Partidas D4, HdM Epicure 2 (25 cabinet), etc, that has bigger and thicker cedar box, and then I started to have humidification issues. 

With this ticker factory boxes, using 65% or even 72% Bovedas the RH still between 55%~60% (even using 2 Bovedas per bag, which has only one cigar box). 

I've come to the conclusion that the cigar box are drying the humidity and keep it a low levels, like it would be to store cigars on a unseasoned desktop humidor. 

I want to keep my cigars inside their boxes to safety reason for a long term aging, but I am reluctant to season the own factory box (putting a 81% Boveda without cigars, for some days later, put cigars inside it again). 

Anybody has something to comment about it, please? 

Thanks!

 

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Have you calibrated your hygrometer?  Are the Bovedas still feel in liquid state and not crunchy?

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Even if the boxes are absorbing moisture, they will eventually stop when they hit the Boveda rated level.  So it just depends on how many Bovedas you want to sacrifice to get them there.

I haven't done this in a while, but out of curiosity I used to check the rH of the boxes arriving from El Pres.  Immaculately wrapped and all they invariably kept registering 65%rH on arrival.  I'd toss those straight in to my water tight (gasketed) tupperdores with 65% Bovedas and both the rH and the Bovedas would be stable for years.

In your case, you've got wood boxes that may be starting at a lower rH and you've got a wineador door that gets opened and closed, and Ziplocks that are actually permeable.  So you lose moisture every time you open the door.  Without active humidification, the Bovedas are bound to dry out sooner or later.  No big deal, just put more Bovedas in and make a decision about what level of Boveda expense you can live with.

A couple things you can play with: Saran Wrap and vacuum pack bags are non permeable, so you might want to switch  to those, but your cigars and boxes will have to be adjusted to 65% before they go in, AND, if you have a severe temperature fluctuation (power failure) you will get a humidity event inside those sealed boxes.  It's unlikely, since your Wineador has insulation and with the cigars a total thermal mass that will slow temperature changes to the individual cigars, but it's worth considering.  Tubos tend to have more mold because they're pack at high humidity in Cuba and then flown in a chilly airline cargo hold; instant condensation.

I love passive temperature and humidity control.  So cellars that are at the right temperature, with tupperdores sealed for rH maintenance and the tupperdores inside of large coolers.  The ability for temperature or humidity to swing quickly or widely or severely is eliminated.

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Where are you measuring rH? Inside the bags with the Bovedas or in the open areas of the wineador? 

If you have any one box of CCs with two soft Bovedas in a sealed ziplock there's no way rH inside that bag can be that low. 

There's very little difference in terms of hyrgoscopic properties between SBN, SLB and dress boxes. 

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DON'Ts: Measuring this and that. Overthinking RH and temperture.

It's OK if you feel bored and want something to think about in your mind.

But they do nothing more to better your smoking experience.

 

DOs: Put in enough Bovedas, seal the container tight, and age longer than last time.

Simple as that.

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11 hours ago, Fezztone said:

Have you calibrated your hygrometer?  Are the Bovedas still feel in liquid state and not crunchy?

It's already calibrated. I have only one, but when I put it on a bag with a thin cigar box (or no box at all, only loose cigars), the RH reading is in line with Boveda, leading me to believe that the other bags are really with a low RH. 

 

10 hours ago, PapaDisco said:

Even if the boxes are absorbing moisture, they will eventually stop when they hit the Boveda rated level.  So it just depends on how many Bovedas you want to sacrifice to get them there.

 I believe so. Maybe its just a question of patience. Then I have one doubt: to season a desktop humidor, usually is used a 81% Boveda for a few days until the wood will be humidified to finally put the desired Boveda from your RH preference. The 81% Boveda I understand that is to accelerate the process, but how long it would take if I would try to season it directly with my RH from preference (65%)?

10 hours ago, PapaDisco said:

I love passive temperature and humidity control.  So cellars that are at the right temperature, with tupperdores sealed for rH maintenance and the tupperdores inside of large coolers.  The ability for temperature or humidity to swing quickly or widely or severely is eliminated.

Amazing! My problem is just that where I live is really very hot 90/95F frequently, but I believe its the best way for a really long term ride. 

 

9 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Where are you measuring rH? Inside the bags with the Bovedas or in the open areas of the wineador? 

If you have any one box of CCs with two soft Bovedas in a sealed ziplock there's no way rH inside that bag can be that low. 

There's very little difference in terms of hyrgoscopic properties between SBN, SLB and dress boxes. 

Inside the Ziplock bag, with 2 brand new 16g Bovedas and bags are perfectly seals and calibrated hygrometer. This is what makes me more puzzled.

 

9 hours ago, Tommy_Tao said:

DON'Ts: Measuring this and that. Overthinking RH and temperture.

It's OK if you feel bored and want something to think about in your mind.

But they do nothing more to better your smoking experience.

 

DOs: Put in enough Bovedas, seal the container tight, and age longer than last time.

Simple as that.

Exactly, overthinking really is the matter that frustrates me with don't getting the desired RH.

 

I really believe that patience is the game's name, but still learning this with cigars aging process yet rs 

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I have to agree with @NSXCIGAR not much difference between the types of boxes in terms of humidity. These new boxes must be drier to begin with.

I have coolers for storage and the only thing that will change humidity one way or the other is putting very dry or very humid boxes in.

 

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17 hours ago, EM_BRL said:

I believe so. Maybe its just a question of patience. Then I have one doubt: to season a desktop humidor, usually is used a 81% Boveda for a few days until the wood will be humidified to finally put the desired Boveda from your RH preference. The 81% Boveda I understand that is to accelerate the process, but how long it would take if I would try to season it directly with my RH from preference (65%)?

In my experience it takes a really long time to season a desktop humidor with your target rH.  I did this once a long time ago, trying to hit 70%rH and it was weeks.  I finally gave up and just repeatedly dampened the interior wood with a cloth and distilled H2O.  Got it to 70% in two days.  Eventually that humidor (like 9 months later) had a mold outbreak which led me to converting from the old "70/70" rule to 65/65, and I've been much happier all around.  Cleaned out the humidor, let it air dry and then reseasoned (again with distilled H2O) to 65% and haven't had a problem with it in all the years since.

I understand your problem with living in a high temperature environment.  Any chance you've got a crawl space under your floor?  It doesn't matter much if your temperature spikes (like a desert environment with cold nights and hot days) for part of the day.  Good insulation slows down temperature changes very effectively.  For long term storage at my river cabin, where summers easily hit 100F during the day, I have a big 150qt Rubbermaid cooler in the crawlspace, sitting on a thermostat controlled sprouting mat https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016MKY7C8/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B016MKY7C8&SubscriptionId=AKIAIPFZKKNXUR5ABTTA&linkCode=as2&tag=bestprodtagk133549-20   that keeps the outside of the cooler at 60F at night.  An insulating blanket goes over the whole shebang and in the watertight plastic crates, inside the cooler, the cigars never move more than 1F.  This is too much hassle for regular access, so your wineador is the answer for that, but if you have more boxes for longer storage it works well.

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On 4/7/2021 at 12:54 AM, Bijan said:

I have to agree with @NSXCIGAR not much difference between the types of boxes in terms of humidity. These new boxes must be drier to begin with.

I have coolers for storage and the only thing that will change humidity one way or the other is putting very dry or very humid boxes in.

 

Yeah, agreed!

I got a small sponge and filled it with distilled water, leaved it there for only 1 day, and humidity already is very close to Boveda's RH without it. Boxes are all dated from late 2020, very new, I believe that maybe there are coming already drier from factory (or maybe from retailer too, bad storage).

 

edit: leaved a small piece of sponge in which bag for only 1 day, with Boveda together. Just to "kick the start" of the box humidification. For now, I believe it worked. 

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Is there any concern with ammonia not being able to escape in a plastic sealed box over the years or decades?

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54 minutes ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Is there any concern with ammonia not being able to escape in a plastic sealed box over the years or decades?

No one ever talks about it, but you'd have to believe from a chemistry standpoint that any & all plastics in a closed space with cigars will off put gas & affect taste in some small way (but someone please correct me of this is a false assumption).

If I peered into my collection boxes I'd prob find the occasional bag, shrink wrap etc. I also tend to use material in partial boxes to prevent movement.  Not to mention those new LE boxes will all the damn chemicals...

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@EM_BRL  Are you using 16 gram or 60 gram Bovedas?  I haven't heard of 16 gram.  I think you would need 1 or 2 60 gram bovedas for a box of cigars in a ziplock.  I assume your wine fridge isn't airtight or and the RH inside of the fridge isn't controlled..  If that is the case then I would look into replacing ziplocks with Tupperware-style airtight containers.  You will extend the life of your Bovedas by ditching the ziplocks.  In my experience ziplocks are pretty good at holding RH and Tupperware is great at holding RH.

I like the idea of using a wine fridge to stabilize the temps.  I might look into that myself, Tupperware inside a wine fridge.🤔

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23 minutes ago, Tstew75 said:

No one ever talks about it, but you'd have to believe from a chemistry standpoint that any & all plastics in a closed space with cigars will off put gas & affect taste in some small way (but someone please correct me of this is a false assumption).

If I peered into my collection boxes I'd prob find the occasional bag, shrink wrap etc. I also tend to use material in partial boxes to prevent movement.  Not to mention those new LE boxes will all the damn chemicals...

I plan to open all my sealed boxes and and reseal them.  Wouldn't hurt to just take a look.

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Just now, BrightonCorgi said:

I plan to open all my sealed boxes and and reseal them.  Wouldn't hurt to just take a look.

That will be sooooo fun.

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4 hours ago, Tstew75 said:

That will be sooooo fun.

I think there is only 20-30 boxes sealed in my cellar.  Gets too humid down there not to seal them.

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11 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

Is there any concern with ammonia not being able to escape in a plastic sealed box over the years or decades?

Don't quote me on that but I have a feeling that the ammonia is going to break down with time into other chemicals rather than simply evaporating. Ammonia itself being the byproduct of leaf protein breaking down. If it were all about evaporating I would imagine that tubos would have a very noticeable ammonia note, which in my experience is not the case. 

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