Paul Anthony: Hello.
Welcome to Bespoke Unit.
My name's Paul Anthony.
CP: I'm CP.
Paul Anthony: Today we're going to be exploring the most common seasoning methods for a woodenhumidor.
If, like me, you're impatient, which maybe relates to method one and you want to findout the best way to do it, we've made an additional video, which you can click here or see asthe first link in the description below.
CP: Now, if you like cigars as much as we do, you're probably going to want to keepthem nice and seasoned inside a humidor.
Therefore, it's important to find the best method to do so.
We've been exploring all the different methods available.
The three most popular methods to go by are: number one, forcing it; number two, the wipe-downand water method; and number three, which we'll touch on, is the Boveda humidity seasoningpacks.
We're going to talk about the pros and cons of each one and what we feel is the best wayforward.
So Paul, forcing it, are you guilty of this?Paul Anthony: Yeah.
I think as a new cigar smoker, you really maybe don't appreciate and respect the kindof traditions of how these cigars were made and how you should really respect storingthem as well.
When I first got into cigars, yeah, I'd go and buy a few cigars.
I'd just throw them in a bag or whatever.
I'll get a cheap humidor, you know what I mean?CP: Yeah.
Paul Anthony: A lot of the time, it's like a $20, $30 one with a glass top, which againis getting a bit suspect.
You're going to get something like this.
You're going to get sort of like Xikar gel or you're going to get some Boveda packs thatare kind of 65% to 69% RH or you're going to even just put a bottle of bloody waterin there, or put nothing in there.
So the way that you may want to force seasoning is by putting cigars and a humidificationagent in the humidor at the same time.
CP: I remember what my humidor that I use today, that sometimes you see in the backgroundof my older videos, is a humidor that Paul gave me a number of months back, and I absolutelyloved it, but I knew nothing at the time about seasoning.
Paul warned me, because he had more experience in it that I [crosstalk 00:02:20]Paul Anthony: I made those mistakes.
CP: I just chucked the cigars in and I chucked as many of these gel packs in, some water.
I filled it [with foam 00:02:27], threw some Boveda packs in.
I thought, you know what?I'm just making sure that the number was just right on the hydrometer, which was an awfulmistake to make.
Paul Anthony: It really is, because what you'll really find is just say you're putting thesecigars in at, say, an optimal RH, 65, 67, all the way to 70.
But you're throwing them in an environment that has a very low RH.
You're just pushing and pulling.
So actually what's happening is the humidor's sucking moisture out of the gel, but they'realso sucking moisture out of the cigars.
CP: Of the cigars, exactly.
Paul Anthony: Which is obviously not fantastic overall.
So please, please, please, guys, if this is, cigars are new to you like they were to Charles,and like they have been to everybody, everyone has to start somewhere, please do not tryand adopt this method.
If you're impatient and you don't want to enjoy the benefits of a wooden humidor, whichthere's a link below where we explore the pros, cons of wooden humidors, then just jumpstraight to a situation where you've got a humidification bag or using an acrylic humidoror a Ziploc Tupperware container where you don't actually have to season it's in an airtightenvironment with no kind of wood in it.
But if you really want to take advantage of wood .
So I realized that I was doing a huge mistake.
I started seeing that some of my cigars were really suffering, really starting to fallapart and dry and burned really quickly, and I was concerned, so I started talking aboutit with Paul.
He started giving me advice and telling me where to go next.
The next step was to properly season the humidor.
I went through the most basic way of going about it, which is with distilled water, asponge, and [crosstalk 00:04:13]Paul Anthony: Or a cloth.
CP: Or a cloth or a towel.
Paul Anthony: Or any sort of wipe-down method in general.
Paul Anthony: Even some companies make pre-distilled water infused cloths.
CP: Oh really?Paul Anthony: What you're getting is just obviously a marketing thing to sell water,but what we're actually trying to do with this seasoning method, as we may have touchedon, is to get the wood and the cigars and whatever humidification method you're goingto be using going forward at an equilibrium.
CP: So the first thing you do when you're actually going to season a humidor is youget rid of your cigars.
Not get rid of them like chuck them out, but .
Paul Anthony: You could smoke them all.
CP: Yeah, you could do that.
That's what we probably actually did.
Paul Anthony: Yeah, for sure.
CP: So what do we do now?We put them somewhere.
Where are we going to put them?Paul Anthony: For me, what I'm going to probably use for convenience is one of these Bovedahumidor bags.
All it is, it's not like a traditional Ziploc.
There's actually going to be no moisture exchange through the plastic.
It's specially designed.
Throw them in there.
For every 25 count of cigar, throw in one or two Boveda packs, and you can just putthem in a dark place, either in a cupboard.
Make sure it's not experiencing any major temperature swings, etc.
But the focus of this is really how are we going to season them?So once we put these back in the humidor, they're going to start to infuse some of thatcedar flavor.
When you open it, you're going to get a salivation in the mouth, which I know is something thatCharles .
CP: I absolutely love the smell of cedar in the morning.
Paul Anthony: Anyway, this method, if you go on YouTube as you are probably here orat BespokeUnit.
com, you're going to type in how to season a humidor.
What you're going to see is a million and one guys that are going to be like, as Charles[inaudible 00:06:04] get your sponge, get your water, and start basically pour yourwater in here, dip it around, then just swill it around, and basically .
Do you want todemonstrate for me, Charles?CP: Yeah.
Here we go.
Here we go.
Paul Anthony: You've got great sponge action.
CP: I practiced cleaning many cars as a Boy Scout.
Paul Anthony: There we go.
CP: You want to wipe down every single surface in here, everything from your separators tothe shelves to the humidor walls themselves.
You want there to be a nice, light film of water.
You don't want it to be dripping.
You don't want it to be still dry.
You just want there to be a noticeable little color change.
Once that's done .
Paul Anthony: You can fill a little dish up.
CP: And you pop it back in.
Paul Anthony: Then you can pop it in and then put all your accoutrements back in as well.
CP: Put that in as well, yeah.
Paul Anthony: And then that's it.
You're pretty much going to be ready.
That's the method.
What are the benefits of this method?Well, one, you're actually seasoning the thing.
CP: That's a good start.
Paul Anthony: Which is not true of option one.
Two, it's very inexpensive.
I mean, as you can see, this was actually earmarked as my cigar humidor distilled waterbottle.
CP: Very organized, Paul.
Paul Anthony: To not be confused with my non-distilled water for non-humidor application.
CP: Bear in mind it is important to use distilled water.
Why?Because tap water and mineral water, they have additives.
Well, the mineral water has minerals from the source, but they do have traces of salt,chemicals, and other additives, which can be detrimental to your cigars' health andwon't have the same effect on the wood.
So it's very important to use distilled water.
Paul Anthony: Now we've gone over the two main pros of this method, what the real bigcons are, are one, that oversaturating the wood can cause an ultra-humid environment,which can actually breed bacteria and fungus and mold in there, basically, which, again,I'm not sure you want to be putting something you're going to be smoking into a mold-infestedenvironment.
Then the second one, which is your kind of funny story about this method.
CP: Oh yeah.
The first time I did this, I was a little bit overzealous on the water and it was prettymuch dripping, and I closed it.
Came back a couple hours later to see how it was going, and I couldn't open it.
The lips here had just basically become bulging and swelled with all the humidity, and itwas impossible to open.
For a good number of days, I had to wait, because I didn't want to force it.
Eventually, I managed to pry it open and I had to leave it open for another couple ofdays to let that swelling go down.
Paul Anthony: True, I mean, and this is only like a $100 humidor.
This is the one I actually use in my office, and I've had it for a year now.
Even though it's only $100, I mean, I get a flat-line 68% RH out of it, which is fantastic.
But this is not going to have as high a construction quality as something like a Davidoff humidoror an Elie Bleu.
I mean, we're talking $100 here.
Again, value for money, phenomenal.
Link below on where you can buy it, but being overzealous, as you said with already whatis relatively inexpensive humidor that was my cheap gift to you, they're not going tohave as strong a construction, and you're going to have some of these issues that Charlesmentioned.
You may also stain the wood.
There's a whole bunch of downsides to really what is .
And also the time it takes.
CP: Yes, the time it takes, and it's messy.
It's just messy.
It's a pain in the ass.
Paul Anthony: And you're going to have to redo it, and it's just kind of like .
Alot of these are veneers on, cedar veneers on .
Paul Anthony: So that's kind of really method two.
Any sort of wipe-down method, again, is way beyond just forcing them with trying to pumphumidification sources.
CP: At least here you're trying to do the right thing.
Paul Anthony: Yeah, you're trying to do something.
[crosstalk 00:09:54] But, you know, over the course of time we've become much wiser.
CP: You have.
You're going to have to tell me how to do this because .
Paul Anthony: Well, you're wise by association.
Paul Anthony: Yeah, the osmosis.
Talking of osmosis, we're pretty close here.
Method three is the Boveda seasoning packs, and what these are is these are basicallydistilled water in a salt solution, and it gives off moisture at 84% RH once it's insomewhere.
They recommend here a Boveda, and we've been very fortunate to have very lengthy, and I'msure somewhat boring conversations.
CP: Trying at times.
Paul Anthony: Yeah, trying at times.
I mean, we've asked every bloody question under the sun to this poor guy at Boveda,Rob, who is actually a fantastic gentleman.
CP: He's given some fantastic advice.
Paul Anthony: He's very, very patient and he actually runs the Box Press podcast.
If you're into cigars, I highly suggest you check that out from 101s to interviewing peoplein the industry, etc.
We'll put a link below to his podcast.
Anyway, what you want to do with these suckers is you want to identify the capacity of yourhumidor.
This is a 100-count humidor, and you want one of these per 25 count.
So Charles, would you like to do the honors?CP: I will do the honors.
So for 100 count humidor, how many am I putting in?Paul Anthony: You're going to put four in.
CP: That's it, four.
Paul Anthony: Just putting me on the spot with that math, Charles.
CP: Quick maths.
Paul Anthony: Quick maths.
Anyway, we put them in there.
Can you use too many of these, Charles?CP: Well, from what I heard, yes, you can.
The differences compared to your regular Boveda humidity packs, which you can put in as manyas you like and they will do the job because they're two-way, is that when you're seasoningyour humidor, these will give and give and give, and the wood will keep on absorbing.
You put in too many of these, and you risk actually making the wood swell and absorbingtoo much humidity, and it can cause cracking and other distortions and ill effects on thewood itself.
Paul Anthony: The biggest issue with all of these desktop humidors, especially these lessexpensive ones, is going to be the seal around here.
So if you're applying too much moisture in these areas, you're going to potentially compromisethat seal, which is going to have long-term detrimental effects to the performance ofthe humidor itself, which is one of the main criticisms of the wipe-down method.
Again, guys, regular Boveda, two-way humidity control.
Chuck as many as you want in.
They recommend one 60-gram pack per 25 cigars.
Here we're one 6-gram pack per 25-cigar capacity.
However, as Charles said, you can overdo it.
If, like me, you have other types of wooden humidor solutions, such as a coolidor or winidor,where you maybe have cedar shelves or cedar drawers, you're going to want to adhere tothis.
They also make a 320-gram pack, which can do one cubit foot of area, but you may wantto use these smaller ones in some of the drawers to really kind of get in there, kind of pathof least resistance stuff.
With these, the question is, Charles, how long do we leave them in there?CP: How long do we leave them in there?I believe it was two weeks.
Paul Anthony: It is indeed two weeks.
So we're in there for two weeks, and once they're in there for two weeks, they've givenoff enough moisture into the wood that we're actually going to take them back out and throwthem away.
We're going to throw them away due to the fact that they're not going to be as .
Theseare brand new out of the packet today.
They're going to potentially be hard, or they still may be quite liquidy.
I don't know what you would say.
CP: Viscous?Porous?[crosstalk 00:13:35] Gooey?Paul Anthony: Yeah, gooey, who knows?But anyway, they may be like this.
They may not be like this.
If they're not like this, it probably means that your humidor .
If theywere like this, it means your humidor is probably going to be relatively well seasoned.
This is a year-old humidor, and as I said, it's been performing extremely well for me.
During this, my second seasoning, I don't expect these to really dry up too much.
If it's a brand new humidor, then we may see these getting a little bit crunchy.
But once you've used them once, you cannot recharge them.
There's another video below where we talk about Boveda and kind of recharging, usingthem, all that kind of stuff.
See the link below.
You're going to throw them out because they're one and done, and then you're basically justgoing to put your cigars back in.
Anything else that we need to do?Paul Anthony: No, that's really it.
CP: That's it.
Paul Anthony: The only other thing I'd probably add to this video of you guys that have gota new humidor, this is not a one and done process.
Probably when you get a new humidor, you're going to want to do the seasoning immediately,and then you're going to want to probably do it again for three or four years as thewood matures and ages in the humidor itself.
There's also another scenario where if the RH drops below 60%, you're going to want todo another seasoning event.
How would you tell if the RH had dropped below 60%, Charles?CP: Well, with a calibrated hygrometer, of course.
Paul Anthony: We're all going to be talking about calibration of hygrometers in additionalvideos, which you'll see the links below.
The most important thing about hygrometers is to calibrate them, because their plus/minusvariances are wild out of the box, and we need to make sure that we're keeping on topof that.
So whether it's .
We wouldn't really use analog, but if we're going to be using digitalor we're going to be using one of the digital sensors, whether it's the Boveda sensor, theSensorPush, or the [Sig Sauer 00:15:21], which are probably the three most popular on themarket today, we really want to track and maintain the kind of microclimate within yourhumidor.
This can actually change during the seasons as well.
Here in the Northeast of the US, in the winter it gets very, very low RH outside.
I may want to put .
If you're familiar with Boveda, you may want to put a 72% pack inthere, and in the summer where it's a lot more humid, you may want to drop it down toa 69 or 65, dependent on some of the conditions in your house.
It's not sitting outside, but you really want to take into consideration some of the outsideRH as well.
That's just being proactive in protecting your cigar investment.
CP: It's much better to be proactive rather than to try and repair the damage that hasalready been done, because sometimes it's irreversible.
Remember that you are investing quite a pretty penny in these wonderful cigars, such as yourlovely Camacho Diplomas or your AVO 30th Anniversary.
Paul Anthony: Correct, or even ones that you inherited from your grandfather.
CP: Indeed, yes.
Paul Anthony: Cigars is a passion of ours.
It brings people together.
It connects families.
I think one of the best things about cigars is just the sheer camaraderie of the community.
With that being said, if any of that cigar community, you guys out there watching it,whether you're new or a seasoned veteran, have anything else to add, please do so inthe comments below.
We have our three methods.
The force it, do not do.
The wipe-down method, questionable.
Or the Boveda seasoning packs.
If you have anything beyond that, please, please, please comment below.
Ask any questions or leave any comments you may have.
Trolls, please stay away, but it's always funny when you do so.
Like this video and subscribe to our channel.
I am Paul Anthony from Bespoke Unit, your guide to the dapper life.
CP: And I'm CP.
Paul Anthony: And we'll see you next time.
CP: Take care.