Relative Humidity


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Relative Humidity

Postby thanks » Dec 26th, '08, 09:55

Worried that my stash has been too dry since... well always, I've not been looking forward to waiting around 20 years until I start tasting some of my now young teas. I've heard that a decent humidity level for pu-erh is 70%. Is this true? Anyone experience good long-term results with this? If so, then I came across something interesting. Perusing some cigar enthusiast forums on the subject of humidity, I came across some of the usual stuff we talk about such as hygrometers, salt tests, etc. However, I saw something that stood out to me. They were talking about "humidity beads", and apparently these are little see-through pellets that regulate the humidity very accurately in a small storage space. You can't have too many beads, as it regulates the moisture content of the air around it. They come in (so far only able to find) two levels, 65% and 70%. I couldn't find the 65% super cheap on eBay, so I sprang for a half pound of the 70% for a very very cheap price.

I guess all you have to do with these is spray 3/4 of the beads with distilled (distilled water ONLY, I guess this is extremely important or the beads won't work) water until the 3/4 you sprayed are see-through, then when they become milky white you just spray them again. These cigar fans are saying this stuff is so accurate that they only use hygrometers to check when they have to spray their beads again!

What do you guys think of all this business, and what are your thoughts on ideal humidity levels for pu-erh storage?
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Postby thejamus » Jan 5th, '09, 09:36

I was talking to the lady at the cigar shop yesterday (which smelled incredible by the way) and she was familiar with them too. She seemed to be very much in favour of them.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jan 5th, '09, 09:39

I have heard of something similar. I believe we touched on them in the past in this forum. I have also heard of Gel that can be used in the same fashion.
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Postby tony shlongini » Jan 5th, '09, 16:18

The beads are all the rage among cigar geeks (used to be one). I would keep my bings in the local JR Cigar's 10,000 square foot humidor were it not for the scent (talk about smoke in your sheng).
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Postby heavydoom » Jan 5th, '09, 17:33

imo, drink what your environment is giving you. you can't play weather god at home.
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Postby TIM » Jan 5th, '09, 18:16

http://stores.cigarsolutions.com/Detail.bok?no=90
http://www.cigartrends.com/viewtopic.php?t=27

I may suggest 65-70% if you can keep it steady. Good Luck.
Aged cigar (20yrs+) are usually stored in 55-65% to keep the higher notes from degrading.
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Postby Proinsias » Jan 5th, '09, 18:26

heavydoom wrote:imo, drink what your environment is giving you. you can't play weather god at home.


I defy you with my insulated walls, double glazing and central heating.
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Postby heavydoom » Jan 5th, '09, 19:42

Proinsias wrote:
heavydoom wrote:imo, drink what your environment is giving you. you can't play weather god at home.


I defy you with my insulated walls, double glazing and central heating.


i can't. not into politics as you are.
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Re: Relative Humidity

Postby Drax » Jan 5th, '09, 20:03

thanks wrote:What do you guys think of all this business, and what are your thoughts on ideal humidity levels for pu-erh storage?


CDS I think was shooting for ~65% in his custom-made pumidor.

So thanks -- what are you going to put the tea + beads in....??

I'm still pondering over the home-made vice the professional solution. . . . . .
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Postby brandon » Jan 5th, '09, 20:05

I've been humidifying a wooden cabinet with tupperware containers of water, got to 60-70 (lower now in the winter) but I took it out, down to 45. It is a pain to keep up with it, I might look into the beads with distilled water.
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Postby tenuki » Jan 5th, '09, 21:26

I believe in beautiful accidents.
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Postby edkrueger » Jan 5th, '09, 21:28

Look how little work i have to do:
http://www.cityrating.com/cityhumidity.asp?City=Houston

My house is probably more humid due to the number of fish tanks.
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Postby Drax » Jan 5th, '09, 21:34

edkrueger wrote:Look how little work i have to do:
http://www.cityrating.com/cityhumidity.asp?City=Houston

My house is probably more humid due to the number of fish tanks.


You know, that sucks. Why did I have to get into tea AFTER moving out of Corpus Christi...?? :D
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Postby thejamus » Jan 5th, '09, 21:38

My house is sitting around 39% right now because of the seasonal need for a heater. My cabinet is around 43%. I just recently added the hygrometer, but I assume it's a bit lower than it would normally be, largely due to the fact that I just added 4600g of Kunming stored pu-erh to it in the last day. As soon as I added the tea, I noticed the general aroma declined a bit. Same thing happened last time I added a tong. Then after a few days, it seemed to reach balance and everything went back to normal. I plan to keep an eye on it through the next few days and see if I'm right.
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