Haven't decided yet on particular cigars or humidors for study. Some humidor ads mention having Spanish Cedar lining and some don't. Unsure if there's an advantage to using 50 stick or 100 stick size humidors. I'm planning to switch from glass tops going forward, so I can better measure moisture content of the lids.
A new 50 stick humidor measuring 47% RH initially was fully seasoned with HumiForm in 2 days. The initial filament setting was approximately 4" (2" on each side of tee) and once the relative humidity reached around 70.7%, was reduced to about 1" or so as shown in photo. The humidity then leveled off at 70% RH empty.
Update on seasoning study:
The 72% RH pouches have not quite reached 72%, but are close on Day 5 after removing the 84% RH seasoning pouches and replacing with a single 72% RH pouch on August 10th. The HumiForm Mini is at 71.2%.
Measured moisture in 100 stick humidor containing HumiForm V 100 over the last few months with the filament in the lowest setting (barely visible in tee). Measured 69% RH on digital probe, and exactly 70% RH on the extremely accurate wireless hygrometer.
On Day 14, both the 84% RH Pouches and the HumiForm Mini reached essentially the same relative humidity in the 78.5% range, although the humidor with the pouches dropped to 78.0 % in the final hours. The pouches were removed from their holder and still felt jelly like when discarded.
In the humidor seasoned with pouches, one new 72% RH Pouch was inserted and its lid closed. The HumiForm was removed from its humidor and the lid left opened for about 30 minutes to initiate reducing the humidity toward the 70% RH target, and then closed for the night.
Initially, the goals were to compare and characterize HumiForm and what are reffered to as "84% RH" pouches in seasoning two identical, new 50-stick humidors, and determine if HumiForm might be able to achieve seasoning better and more quickly than the 14 days needed with pouches.
HumiForm achieved 84% RH in just 5.5 days, while the 84% RH pouches were less 75% RH at that point in time. The HumiForm filament was reduced from approximately 6" of exposure to 4" (2" on each side of tee). We contacted the Pouch supplier and learned the pouches will most likely not reach 84%RH, and more likely get into the low to mid 70% RH range. At the end of Day 6, we further reduced the HumiForm filament to around 2" with the target of matching the relative humidity at the end of 14 days. At the end of day 12, we made another reduction of the filament to where none is exposed outside of the tee.
Day 9 - We are suspecting that seasoning with HumiForm may not require achieving 84% relative humidity AND may not even be necessary since there appears to be adequate moisture present to both season a humidor and humidify cigars at the same time. We asked a major pouch manufacturer some questions about their products.
1. Why is it necessary to season a new humidor to 84% RH over 2 weeks (i.e., what’s special about 84%)? They didn't really answer the question, but did respond their pouches are designed and formulated to provide moisture directly to the cellular structure of the wood in a humidor, and that their method provides more moisture directly to the wood than other seasoning methods, such as wiping surfaces with a distilled water soaked rag.
2. At the end of seasoning when transitioning from two 84% RH pouches to the final pouch, say 72% RH, how long should it take to drop from 84% to 72%? Do I wait until 72% RH is achieved before inserting cigars into the humidor? Their response is that after seasoning, the humidor most likely will not be at 84%RH, and that most humidors get to the low to mid 70% RH range. The claimed there is no need to "worry about your hygrometer during seasoning, the ambient air RH is not the moisture content of the wood in your humidor." They went on to explain that once seasoning is completed and the storage pouches are inserted, they will begin adding moisture to your cigars and it will take time for your cigars to absorb the proper amount of moisture. They also mentioned that if the cigars are too moist, their pouches will also work to absorb any excess moisture - that their product will never over humidify past the RH listed on the pouches.
The humidor containing a HumiForm Mini achieved 84% relative humidity on Day 6 of seasoning, so we reduced the amount of exposed filament to about 2" per side. Later in the day, to accelerate the drop in humidity, the filament was adjusted to its lowest amount of exposure, with little filament visible (see photo). On Day 7, the Mini is reading around 80.4%, while the 84% pouches are at 76.4%.
The humidor containing HumiForm Mini achieved 84% relative humidity on Day 6 of seasoning. The 84% pouches are running about 9-10% RH lower. The 84% figure seems a bit arbitrary, but it's at least starting point, so we've reduced the amount of exposed filament once the Mini achieves and holds 84% RH. See video.
Seasoning of two identical humidors continues. At around 34 hours into the study, the Pouches (in blue) are 67% RH and the HumiForm Mini (in red) is around 77% RH, about 10% higher.
Rough calculations show the cost-of-ownership for pouches being about $75 in the first year and then $40/year afterwards. This assumes a cost of around $6.50 per pouch, a vented holder costing around $23, and each pouch lasting 2 months as advertised. By comparison, the Mini costs $49.00 and lasts for two or more years on a single gallon of distilled water.