Fridge and Wine cooler Guide

#41
Great write up! I am thinking of going down the New Air road myself. I have a question though. If I do use the individual cedar box method would I need to humidity the entire cooler or just the individual boxes? I was thinking of getting 1 cedar shelve and one cedar drawer but the individual boxes might be better. The only plus to the drawer would be capacity.
 
#42
f I do use the individual cedar box method would I need to humidity the entire cooler or just the individual boxes?....The only plus to the drawer would be capacity.
How many angels can fit on the head of a pin? Meaning there is no correct exact answer here.

I had a thermo-electric (Note:not all New Air are thermoelectric) 32 wineador for about five years, with some cedar drawers - custom made but not custom fit - and for several years a 172??? bottle compressor model (some of which overlapped with the thermo-electric.) My thinking has evolved somewhat over the years and probably will continue to change.

I'm moving more and more into using the boxes the cigars came in rather than having custom built items. For several reasons, the boxes act as a humidity flywheel that will stabilize the humidity, it is easier for me to make selections from the boxes, and some of my favorites don't come with cellophane on them and to my way of thinking they smoke and taste better laying naked next to another of the same blend, rather than open air, plus the box helps stabilize temps of the cigars.

None of this is based on empirical data of any sort, will probably be contradictory to what several other posters and "experts" say and is merely my personal preference.

This year, since my thermo-electric died, I am going back to a large coolidore for additional storage and going to keep it in the coolest spot in the basement. Also, the AC is now zoned and I can maintain it a little cooler down there if I want.

I am getting to the point that I believe that likely the most important factor for long term storage of cigars is stability of temps and RH. Boxes contribute to both of those, IMO.

Short Version: No right answer here, personally I like boxes.

Edited to add - humidify individual boxes with humi-packs and the overall cooler with beads is likely to give the greatest stability - but you have got to be on the money with the beads or you will run through humi-paks
 
Last edited:

adam.ece.77

Cigars & golf - two things meant for each other!
#43
This seems like the right place for this post, however, if not then kindly let me know and I will post it in the correct forum. :rolleyes:

Attached is a photo of my 28-bottle compressor wine refrigerator I have made my best effort to convert to a humidor. Refrigerator was not being used anymore as my wife has switched to reds and drinks the bottles as fast as we buy them... Says this is the only way she can tolerate being in the same room as me, but that is a song for another day and discussion for another forum. Haha!! ;) I live in Southern California where the summers are hot and I am too cheap to run the AC - surprisingly my wife has allowed me to live which is a surprise because she is a damn polar bear and would love to have the house temperature cold enough I would have icicles hanging from my nose as I write this post. Maybe it is because she is more cheap than I am. Haha!! Anyway, needed a way to control temp as this was really concerning me with my humidors in my unconditioned 85-degree house.

Decided on compressor wine refrigerator for two reasons - 1) well I already had it; and 2) through my very intensive research it seemed like the thermo-electric units had to be replaced every 2-3 years which did not seem sustainable to me long term. Based on this very informative post I have found some comfort I am at least moving in the right direction - before I read this I thought I was on an island of one. As recommended above, I installed an aftermarket thermostat. Instead of drilling a hole or running the thermostat wire through the door, I fed it through the condensate drain line. I did not seal the opening of the drain line thus making it weak point 1 in my system (more on my thoughts behind this later). I have the temperature setting very tight on the thermostat - 69-degrees F to 70-degrees F. My thoughts behind this (likely flawed) is that more frequent short runs of the compressor will reduce the impact the compressors have on reducing the RH within my humidor. I added two rudimentary Spanish cedar shelves for box stacking/storage and three (3) pounds of 65% heartfelt humidity beads (one at each "compartment" in my humidor). 3-pounds was more than recommended (I think...) and the reason for this is I wanted to make sure I had plenty of horsepower to stabilize the humidity level back at 65% once the compressor kicked off and that it would also help with the fact that I did not seal the condensate drain plug. I store one (1) 100-cigar humidor and one (1) 20-cigar humidor within the unit for singles - both have 69% Boveda packs. I have five (5) digital temperature/hygrometers located throughout the unit and inside of the 100-cigar humidor to monitor humidity and temperature. Temperature of course is not a concern, however, I have noted 20-point dips in the humidity levels when the compressor is running even if for a short duration. The sensors I am using are not "ultra sensitive" so I am not able to accurately determine the rebound rate.

I have a few questions - 1) will these short swings in humidity adversely affect the overall "health" of my cigars; 2) do the micro-climates inside of the boxes and my humidors help mitigate the possible impact these RH swings could have on my cigars; and 3) does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions/opinions/recommendations to improve my current storage method?

Excited to hear some thoughts and opinions from those with far more experience and expertise than me.

IMG_1708.JPG
 

CMontoya79

Newb Le professional!
#44
70-50 or 65-45??? Either way. I imagine that 20 point swings in humidity can’t be a good thing. I imagine that could damage the wrappers as I believe the organic matter that are cigars prefer a more stable environment. I once read an article tgafxaid something along the line of... oils in the tobacco when dried out can never be replaced.
 

adam.ece.77

Cigars & golf - two things meant for each other!
#45
@CMontoya79 - thank you for your thoughts. The swings are really more in the neighborhood of 15%. I try to maintain my humidor at 65% humidity and when the compressor is running I have noted the humidity sensors registering in the low 50's when the compressor is running.

Again, I think (no way to verify this without very expensive hygrometers), or shall I say my hope, was that the increased amount of humidity beads would return the humidity to the preferred 65% quickly enough that these short reductions would not impact my cigars long term. So I have two (2) follow-up questions - 1) if all of my cigars are either in boxes or the smaller humidors, does this help remedy the cigars exposures to the drop in RH as long as the overall humidity stabilizes to 65% quickly (say 15-minutes); and 2) does anyone have any suggestions for other ways to remedy the large RH dips with compressor type winedors?

Thank you in advance for your time and information!
 

Scap

Well-Known Member
#46
Have to find a way to keep the evap plate from getting below the dew point.

Keep in mind just because the air is suddenly (temporarily) dry doesn't mean your sticks are too.
 

adam.ece.77

Cigars & golf - two things meant for each other!
#47
@scrap - Thanks! Determining that solution is way above my pay grade ;) haha So if there is anyone who has a recommendation for how to do this I am all ears. I do have some mechanical engineer buddies I could reach out I suppose...

That is what I was "thinking", however, I have nothing definitive to support my theories. So looking for either validation if my logic is tracking or recommendations if I am way out of bounds. We are moving into the cool season here finally so will likely be turning of the refrigerator and allow the temp to self regulate. During the hot summer months, however, I just want to make sure my setup is not doing more harm than good when I am using the refrigerator in the hotter months from May to November.
 

bfreebern

Yada, Yada, Yada.
#48
The reason your humidity is dropping so much, is that the compressor is sucking all your humidity. It's like storing coffee in your fridge, eventually it dries out. Too many swings, when the compressor kicks off and on, will eventually kill your cigars. You're going to have to figure out a way to keep it somewhat cool, without the compressor kicking on too much. You could always keep it in the coolest area of your house and only plug it in when it needs to be. But that would defeat the purpose of having something control your environment for you.

I don't have a solution for you, unless you sell it and buy a wine fridge/vinotemp type cooler :) Lots of info out there I'm sure, you'll just have to dig through threads via google, for it.
 

Scap

Well-Known Member
#49
@scrap - Thanks! Determining that solution is way above my pay grade ;) haha So if there is anyone who has a recommendation for how to do this I am all ears. I do have some mechanical engineer buddies I could reach out I suppose...

That is what I was "thinking", however, I have nothing definitive to support my theories. So looking for either validation if my logic is tracking or recommendations if I am way out of bounds. We are moving into the cool season here finally so will likely be turning of the refrigerator and allow the temp to self regulate. During the hot summer months, however, I just want to make sure my setup is not doing more harm than good when I am using the refrigerator in the hotter months from May to November.

You can't be a tight wad if you want lab precision....

There are controllers out there that will allow you to have finer control than the gross control of the built in thermostat.
 

adam.ece.77

Cigars & golf - two things meant for each other!
#50
I have not been a "tight wad" per say, but have also not splurged on the most high end equipment either. The controller I am using is a Willhi 110V #WH1436A Digital Thermostat switch. Temp settings are set to turn power on to the unit if the temp is above 70-degrees F and turn power off to the unit when the temperature gets below 69-degrees F. I have one Xicar hygrometer which is the most accurate of my hygrometers and the one I monitor the most closely. My other four sensors are part of a multi-sensor Acurite display and monitor system that uses My Acurite to give you access to monitor the conditions remotely through the app. If there are better sensors someone would recommend I am all ears!! ;)
 

adam.ece.77

Cigars & golf - two things meant for each other!
#51
@scrap - Also, to be fair I am not looking for lab precision necessarily... Just a happy cozy place for my cigars to call home :D I want to age some of what I have and do not want to go into a box 5-years from now only to find a bunch of dead sticks I spent a ton of money on. I think I am on the right track, but am hoping those who have gone before me can help me to fine tune the little details that could increase the likelihood of my success.

I am going to reach out to a mechanical engineer friend of mine and see what kind of suggestions he has. If it is anything worth mentioning I will share my findings with the group.

I really appreciate the feedback!! Nice to finally have a place to nerd out and discuss the pitfalls of my cigar storage. None of my friends share my enthusiasm...
 
Top