Found a couple threads but nothing that had tons of information on it so I thought I would start something for everyone. I recently have been looking for a fun hobby to do now that I am married. I currently lift weights and play golf but I needed something a bit more relaxing that I could do around home so I started collecting cigars. To start I knew I needed a humidor if I was going to do this. I purchased myself a small humidor that holds 25 cigars. Nothing fancy or expensive but it looks nice, wife loves it as a decoration piece and it suits my needs. It does seal air tight though and if I put a dollar bill in it securely holds the bill when pulling it.
It had a built in hygrometer but upon researching I found out those can be inaccurate so I purchased a digital Xikar hygrometer to go along with it. I then seasoned my humidor and placed in the hygrometer. I am still working on getting the humidity right and may switch from a humidifier to beads before long. Currently the temperature sits between 69-71 and humidity is ranging from 70%-76%. I want it between 65%-70%. Once I get that just right I will load in my cigars. I plan to post some pictures of my setup for everyone to see, once I get a chance.
But until then let's hear every one's tips, and suggestions for keeping the humidor just right and what kinds of cigars they prefer.
My first tips:
1. Be patient. Setting up the humidor takes time and detail do not rush it. It is better to get it right from the start then half way do it and ruin cigars. The point of this box is to keep them fresh for extended periods of time and if you do not do this its wasted money.
2. Make sure the box is air tight. Two test I found when researching is that if you drop the lid from three or more inches it should have a whoosh sound(pushing air out). If it slams, it is letting air in. Second if you can close a dollar bill in between the box and lid and pull the box around without removing the dollar it is holding air.
3. Monitor the humidity and temperature. If it is over heated in the box, you can cause tobacco Beatles to hatch which will ruin your cigars. From my research they hatch above 77 degrees.
4. Get a second hygrometer. In case one fails you have a backup and to ensure that they are close to the same.
5. TEST: Everything I read says to use distilled water to fill the humidifier and season the box. I did not have any at hand and used small amounts of bottled water. I will update this in a few weeks to see if that is successful.
6. Check the cigars. If they are not drying out, getting to moist, and smoking great then leave the humidity as is. If they are not keeping as you hope, adjust the box. It's all a mater of your taste and the cigar.