291 -August 9, 2012
New Humidification Technology
Keeping cigars in good condition is always a concern – so much so that we have written several “Across the Counter” articles over the years and we’re always on the lookout for any new developments in this field.
A couple of months ago, an article in a trade magazine caught my eye. It included quotes from:
Cigar Journal magazine
“The search for the ultimate humidification system for the desktop humidor has come to its end!”
Cigar Aficionado magazine “While some humidity systems take a bit of doting, the Humidity Bead System by Cigar Sciences acts more like a workhorse.
It kept the RH right in the sweet spot with no refilling and very little fluctuation despite a lot of traffic with
handfuls of new cigars coming in and out daily.”
These quotes inspired further research:
In 2005 Cigarmony LLC was formed in the United States – an innovator in humidification products. 7 years later, 24 February 2012, because it is completely different from all other humidification systems, Cigarmony’s Humidity Beads System® was granted US patents for this high technology humidifying product.
“….. while there are many other applications for its use, cigar smokers are the immediate beneficiaries of this leading edge technology.”Mark Neff, President and CEO
Humidity Beads System® Features:
• Precisely maintains your relative humidity
• Simple to use; 100% effective
• No messy solutions
• Advanced micropore technology
• Includes magnetic fasteners
• American invented, owned and assembled, US Patented
These beads have been developed as an application of “Nanotechnology”
“Sometimes shortened to "nanotech", it is the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale – a key technology for the future”.
Wikipedia goes on to write that it “….entails the application of fields of science as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, microfabrication, etc.”
For us, the relevant application is in the humidification of cigars.
How it works:
The Humidifier contains small transparent non-toxic humidity control beads. They have the property of maintaining at around 70% the ambient relative humidity (RH) in your humidor (or any re-sealable container eg plastic bag, Tupperware).
(At 70°F (21°C), 70% is considered to be the ideal relative humidity in which to store your cigars.)
Remember that Relative Humidity is a function of temperature – it is the amount of water vapour in the air compared with the amount required to saturate the air at that temperature.
The important attribute of the beads is that when wet, they will release moisture when the RH falls below 70%, and absorb moisture if the RH goes above 70%, thus maintaining a constant relative humidity no matter how often the humidor is opened, or what the external conditions.
When dry they will
absorb some moisture if the RH goes above 70%.
This can prevent, to a certain extent, cigars from becoming too damp; damp cigars are difficult to draw, and don’t burn properly.
Simple to use:
1. Immerse the humidifier in water (preferably distilled, but not essential); do not use or add any other liquid;
2. Soak for up to 30 minutes; (The beads will swell and become opaque – but don’t leave them too long, they will overfill and burst.)
3. Remove and wipe dry;
4. Now the humidifier is ready to fit into your humidor (but see Watchpoints below);
The humidifier is re-usable, will last for many years under correct conditions and will not form mould.
The beads are clear when dry and white when activated – you can easily see when the humidifier needs to be refilled. Refill when necessary, anything from several weeks to several months depending on how often the humidor is opened, the condition of cigars going into the humidor and of the air outside the humidor:
• Very dry conditions require more frequent filling (Cape in summer, Highveld in winter, Air-conditioned rooms)
• Very humid conditions? You may need to experiment. Check the relative humidity inside and outside the humidor. Maybe you won’t want to damp the humidifier at all – put it into the humidor and then after a while check the relative humidity inside the humidor.
• The amount of water absorbed by the humidifier (any humidifier) CANNOT completely moisturise a dry humidor. Prepare the humidor before installing the humidifier by spraying repeatedly with a fine sprayof water, until the relative humidity inside the humidor is 70%
• Remember to keep the humidor in a cool place (but normally not in the refrigerator)
The beads are available in humidifiers in the USA from: Cigar Sciences, Cigar Mechanic, Cigarmony LLC ….
and now in South Africa from Wesley’s and other fine tobacconists,
under the brand.
Bead Humidifier 25-50 cigars 73-J5521 R155.00
Bead Humidifier up to 100 cigars 73-J5531 R245.00
From August 16 - 29, 2012
Less 25% on the Humidifiers with bead technology
In January 2011 we had a request from a customer for a humidity system for cigars stored in Durban where the problem was quite often too much moisture in the air. He had heard of “humidity beads” – would these work?
The humidity beads available at that time were not “bi-directional” – they would not stabilise the relative humidity, ie supply or remove moisture as necessary.
Mr AP – Better late than never! I trust this article and this product will sort out your problems.
No.291 August 9 - 22, 2012
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articles from "Across the Counter" in The