Alright, being a huge cigar lover I'm ashamed that my collection has gone so long without my usual attention in making sure that my stogies are doing well...
My current setup used to be a closet with a digital thermo (with an additional hydrometer), humidifier, and humidors. I had the closet set up in a manner where my humidors and cigars were attempted to be kept around 70% humidity... well, it's being taken over!
With the additional of another child on the way in 2 months my wife has begun nesting after many months of festering about clothing, new furniture, etc, so I am loosing my cigar closet!
So now it's time for a little DIY on creating a cool-i-dor! Things I will need for this project:
- Cooler (medium to large size)
- Cigar boxes
- Humi-Care Gel and/or RH Beads
The cooler I purchased at Wally World for $16, it was on sale a few weeks back, not bad for a medium sized cooler... keep in mind for this project, use a medium to large cooler, those little personal sized coolers aren't going to be much use to store many cigars... perhaps a mini cooler would be good for a travel type deal... anyway...
I have 2 humidors left from my collection (gave 2 to a friend), and I have the digital hydro/thermometer, as well as the addition of a few cigar boxes all I need to do is purchase some RH beads within the next day or so.
Anyway, the purpose of a cool-i-dor is simple, it will serve as a large humidor for many ceegars, and the nice thing, since it's a cooler it will help maintain the temp inside since it's well insulated, and best of all, it will retain moisture more efficiently.
I will come back and edit this post with pictures of my progress as time goes on...
Step 1: Clean out our cooler twice (2 times) so help remove the "plastic smell" use only DISTILLED WATER (can be purchased very cheaply anywhere, in my case well under $1 each.
Let the cooler air out for the night, this will help get rid of the plastic stank and help air it out.
Distilled Water doesn't contain chemicals/minerals found in bottled water, or well, or public water, these chemicals (chlorine, fluoride, etc.) aren't recommended for cigar storage as they will distort the taste, smell and overall feeling of your cigars.
Step 2: You'll need to "condition" the cooler properly before throwing your sticks in there, so for this step you'll need to "prep" the cooler.
Take a rag, papertowel and moisten it with the distilled water, wipe the walls of the cooler with the towel so that it leaves the walls damp, moisten your cigar boxes (make sure these boxes are wood and not cheapy cardboard!) and be sure to make sure everything is nice and damp.
Place inside the cooler.
Now add the desired amount/correct amount of RH beads to your cooler to help maintain a constant humidity... the formula I found is:
In this Article
the cigar boxes will retain moisture and help you organize your cigars, they'll help maintain moisture when you open and close your cool-a-dor as well.
Step 3: Place your hydrometer/thermo in the cooler and allow the cooler to condition for about a day or so... you'll want the cooler to maintain a ballpark of 70deg F with 70% humidity (i say ballpark b/c maintaining a constant 70% humidity would drive you into a nuthouse). Monitor your setup after a day or so, once you are happy with the numbers add your cigars, monitor after a day and you may need to add more DISTILLED WATER to the cool-i-dor to help balance the offset from drier ciagrs.
For more ideas: