For those that are unfamiliar with cigar storage, the humidor might look like a simple box to stack cigars in. However, it serves the much more important function of keeping the cigars at the proper humidity so that they retain their optimal character and flavor. In order to ensure that humidity is at the proper level, the humidor owner needs to keep the hygrometer accurate.
Things You'll Need
- Small screwdriver
- Table salt
- Sealable plastic bag
- Dish or bottle cap
Remove the hygrometer from the humidor. The hygrometer is the digital or analog measurement device located inside.
Take a teaspoon of salt and place it in a small cup or dish. A water bottle cap would work fine. Dampen the salt with several drops of water. Get it damp, but do not soak the salt.
Put the cap of wet salt and the hygrometer into a sealable plastic bag, such as a sandwich bag. Place them next to each other, but not touching. Keep a little air in the bag, and close it fully so that the cap and hygrometer are sealed inside. Make sure that the cap is standing and does not spill onto the hygrometer.
Leave the bag for six to 12 hours. Keep it on a tabletop or stable place where it won't fall over and spill.
Read the hygrometer through the sealed bag. It should be 75 percent. If it's not, you'll want to adjust the hygrometer to 75 percent.
Remove the hygrometer from the bag and immediately adjust the screw or dial on the back to point to 75 percent. The screw should move the reading hand on the face. If you have any problems with adjustment, refer to the instructions for your hygrometer, or don't make any adjustment and simply record the amount by which it is off.
Calibrate the hygrometer regularly. Calibration should be performed prior to putting cigars into the humidor for an analog hygrometer (digital models are more accurate). Calibration should be performed once or twice a year to test accuracy.
Tips & Warnings
- If your hygrometer does not have an adjustment screw on the back, you can still use it by taking into account how far it's off by. For instance, if it reads 85 percent when testing, you'll need to subtract 10 percent from future humidity readings.
- While more accurate, digital hygrometers can be tested, but can't usually be adjusted. Use the simple calculation strategy above to deal with an inaccurate digital hygrometer.
- Cigars should be kept in a 68 and 72 percent humidity level.
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