Why florist foam?

Nely

Cubano Gorilla Herfoso
I mean there are a lot of other foams that I think could hold more water. The reason for this quetion is that I find myself filling the credo 1 or 2 times a week, I don't think the florist foam soaks up much water. At least not mine. My humidor is a small one (40 count I think) and I live in florida (very humid) I tried the crystals in the small jar and it worked perfectly for a couple of weeks but then I got mold in the jar and it also took some of my precious space. So I went to the foam again with 50/50 solution, then when I refill I have to let the foam soak in the d-water for 20 minutes or so. You would think that it comes out dripping water? No. I think that it is an issue of the foam not holding in enough water. Has anyone tried using a regular 3M sponge from the grocery store? I recently purchased a drymistat tube to help me out in the days that I'm feeling lazy, but i really want to put the credo to work. Any thoughts on this?
 

Butch

ChestBeater
Not that I am an expert with this stuff, but I think that it is the manner with which it holds the water and slowly releases it into the surrounding atmosphere. A regular foam wwould not hold it as long or as well. Most all store bought disk (etc) hymidifiers have the same type of foam as florist oasis foam.
But if you look below i think you can do pretty much whatever you want if the hygrometer reads the range that you are looking for:

Taken from Jeeves website:

SUBJECT: Storage and Humidity/Humidification:

As we buy our cigars, we expect them to be ready to smoke as we leave the tobacconist's shop, and we are usually not disappointed. However, many of us buy our cigars in quantities, by the box or at least several at a time, and proper storage becomes a matter of concern.

It is generally accepted that cigars should be stored in an environment that permits the cigar to be smoked at it's best. Many authors have suggested that this "ideal" environment centers around 70 degrees F and a relative humidity of 70%. If we let our cigar get too dry, it will smoke hot, fast and unevenly. If we get our cigars too moist, they will tend to go out frequently, draw will become harder, and the cigars can run the risk of molding in storage. Either of these extremes are undesirable.

Thus, it is recommended that cigars be stored in humidors, boxes that are designed to (hopefully) maintain a constant environment for our cigars to rest, and be maintained at their peak condition for smoking.

Humidors range from Igloo (registered trademark) coolers and other inexpensive containers with humidification devices all the way to works of art that showcase the wood workers skills, and cost in the multiple thousands of dollars. Which one is best??? If the humidity and temperature is controlled appropriately, either the budget version or the "break the bank" version will perform equally well. The "break the bank" version is best suited for ostentatious display of cigars and cigar storage, while the budget version is perfectly fine for those who do not want to put their cigar storage on display.

The one thing both extremes of price have in common is that they all contain some kind of device to regulate the humidity inside the storage container. These humidification devices have one goal in mind, and that is to maintain the humidity in our humidor at a constant value at a given temperature. These devices range in complexity from low tech (a sponge soaked in water at the bottom of the humidor, brass containers with a clay substance to hold moisture and release moisture- ie, the Dunhill system), to devices that use blotting paper to hold and release moisture. These devices low tech devices often require the owner to adjust the humidification device to maintain the desired humidification.

Another device, and in my opinion one of the best, is the Credo System (registered trademark). The Credo System comes in both a small model (the Rondo) capable of handling 25 - 50 cigars, and the larger model, the Precision 70 which is capable of handling 75 - 100 cigars. Obviously, for larger storage requirements, multiple Credo units can be used.

The beauty of the Credo System is that it is Self Regulating. All you have to do is add distilled water to keep the device saturated, and it will maintain a constant 70% relative humidity at 70 degrees F. This is accomplished by the use of special "Credo Juice", which contains both distilled water and a "tensio-active" agent. This tensio-active agent releases moisture when the RH is too low, and absorbs moisture when the RH is too high. It has been determined that the "tensio-active" agent in the Credo units is nothing more or less than propylene glycol, and the units come pre-charged with this agent. You then add distilled water until the unit is saturated with water, and install in your storage. After several months, Credo recommends that you "recharge" your unit with "Credo Juice" (which is for all intents and purposes a 50-50 mix of propylene glycol), due to the fact that the tensio-active agent is slowly consumed when in use.

Many cigar smokers have began to make their own humidification devices based on this information. Sponges are commonly used to hold the propylene glycol and distilled water, but a better choice appears to be the green foam used by florists in flower arrangements (brand name is OASIS). OASIS is available from your local florist, and often from craft shops, and a large brick of this foam is enough to make many humidifiers and can be purchased for a very affordable sum. I recommend soaking the foam with propylene glycol, and then adding distilled water until the foam will no longer accept anymore distilled water. This is them placed (in an appropriate ventilated container) into our storage container, and our cigars will be maintained in peak condition until we are ready to smoke them.

Although humidity levels are almost always referred in terms of Relative Humidity, the actual value that is important is the amount of water vapor present in a given volume of air, known as Absolute Humidity. As air will hold varying amounts of water vapor at different temperatures, no discussion of humidification would be complete without a discussion of temperature and it's effect on absolute humidity. Relative humidity is an easily measured value, that relates the measured humidity to the maximum humidity that is possible at that temperature. Thus, 70% RH at 70 degrees F is not the same as 70% RH at 80 degrees F and neither is the same as 70% RH at 60 degrees F.

Remember, we are aiming to maintain the same amount of water (mgm/liter) around our cigars as seen at 70% RH at 70 degrees F (which is 13.15 mmHg water vapor pressure).

So, to be able to know what is happening with our cigars at temperatures other than 70 degrees F, we must use a table of adjusted relative humidity values to make sure that our humidors keep our cigars in the peak of condition.

So the following holds true:


Temp Water Vapor Pressure Relative Humidity Required
for 100% saturated to equal 70% RH at 70 degrees (13.15mmHg)

60 13.26 99.17%
61 13.73 95.78%
62 14.23 92.41%
63 14.74 89.21%
64 15.27 86.12%
65 15.81 83.18%
66 16.37 80.33%
67 16.95 77.58%
68 17.55 74.93%
69 18.17 72.37%
70 18.79 70.00%
71 19.45 67.61%
72 20.11 65.39%
73 20.81 63.19%
74 21.51 61.13%
75 22.25 59.10%
76 23.00 57.17%
77 23.78 55.30%
78 24.59 53.48%
79 25.40 51.77%
80 26.67 49.31%

As we can see, it is impossible to attain an absolute humidity level that will keep our cigars from drying out at temperatures below 60 degrees F.
This observation will put to rest the fallacy that the refrigerator is a good place to store cigars. Not only do we have to worry about our premium cigars beginning to acquire the flavors from our left over foods, but the cigars will dry out and become essentially unsmokable. The freezer is an even worse place to store cigars. The humidity becomes virtually zero, and the lost of moisture from our cigars will accelerate to produce a dry as a bone smoke.
 

c2000

Cigar Whisperer
I live in Minnesota and during the summer months I don't even wet the foam and my humidor stays at approx 70%. I can't believe you need to humidify your cigars that much living in Florida. My guess is from what you wrote that you are clearly over humidifing your cigars..How do the cigars smoke? That is one way to tell as the previous post explains.

Jerry in Minnesota.
 

kansashat

What would Skeeter do?
I have always used cellulose sponge with a built in anti-bacterial in my homemade humidifiers & have had zero problem with mold. The sponge, coupled with 50/50 has actually arrested & reversed the mold growth seen on a box of Ghurka Master Select that I recieved a few months ago. When I got the cigars, they had the beginnings of mold growth on them. I kept them anyway & put them in one of my 72 qt plastidors with my homemade humidifiers. The mold has died & the cigars display no signs of it.

I also purchased a box of MacBeth Duncans a couple of years ago. This cigar had quite a bit of age on it when I bought it & had some little spots of fluffy white mold. The mold is still there, but has not grown or spread in any way.
 

(909)

X Canadian
Butch, I love it when a new guy asks a question and a relatively new guy totally hooks him up with info.

You rock Butch!!
 

txmatt

Still Smitty's biotch!
zemekone has it!

You can't beat Climmax Premier Media beads. I use a 3M sponge to bring new water into the coolerdor, and the beads soak up humidity until they are full. Once RH in the humidor reads above 65% the beads are full and I remove the sponge. I have to fill the beads more often now than in the summer, but still its only twice a month. I open the coolerdor at least 5 times a week.

I use 1/2 pound in my 48 qt humidor. If you find that you need to add water more often than you want to, use more beads. Simple no-nonsence way of humidifying your cigars perfectly. What's more a pound of the media will cost you the same as 3 bottles of 50/50 and after that all the savings can go into buying more cigars :w

-Matt-
 

Bruce5

Lowland Gorilla
Nely,
Good information given. There are a lot of good shops in our area.
Where in South Florida do you live?
.
 

Nely

Cubano Gorilla Herfoso
Thanks everybody! C2000 my cigars are not being over humidified, they smoke great, I just like to keep them at around 66-70 RH. My complaint is that the florist foam does not give me any signs that is absorbing water. This material is green in color, when you wet it is suppose to change to a darker green right? a sign that it is wet, well mine does not, it looks like it is impermeable to water, sure it does pick-up some moisture, it keeps my calibrated hygrometer at about 68-70 but then it starts to slowly dip down. Of course i don't let it get below 65. When I get the spnge out of the credo it is very dry. I just was thinking of using some other type of sponge. Bruce I m in the hialeah area.
 

Nely

Cubano Gorilla Herfoso
Oh yeah thanks Butch for your info, Bruce I have Perdomo's Tabacalera 5 minutes away from my house, never been there though. I need to find out if they sell directly to the public.
 

The Privateer

Young Ape
Nely,

You might be using the wrong type of foam. You need the "wet" type that soaks up water instantly. If you're using the "dry" type for artificial flowers, they don't soak up water at all.

Might want to check with your supplier.

HTH.
 

Bruce5

Lowland Gorilla
Nely -
Privateer is correct in that there are 2 types of this floral foam: wet and dry.
I have never used it personally, but have seen it many times in the craft section at Walmart. Note: I do not hang out in the craft section at Walmart.... I was just checking it out. A friend of mine uses this "wet foam" with great success.
.
 

Nely

Cubano Gorilla Herfoso
Yeah that must be it. I forgot that I read that there are two types of foam. Thanks guys. I'll be heading toward the craft section in walmart this weekend. Bruce i'll make sure to wear my very dark sunglasses that way no one will recognize me :)
 

Bruce5

Lowland Gorilla
Nely said:
Yeah that must be it. I forgot that I read that there are two types of foam. Thanks guys. I'll be heading toward the craft section in walmart this weekend. Bruce i'll make sure to wear my very dark sunglasses that way no one will recognize me :)
.
Just remember ...those stores have cameras.
Let us know how the foam works out.
 

Nely

Cubano Gorilla Herfoso
Aghrrrrr! Walmart didnt have the wet foam type. You know I have never felt weird visiting the crafts section with my wife but thanks to Bruce I did today, it was even worst cause I had to ask for help, and I thought the lady was looking at me in a funny way. :D . Anyways, I went to a local florist and she was kind enough to give me a block of oasis wet foam for free! I now will be setting up my credo and my first turpedor for that box of Toranos I got in the way.
 

Butch

ChestBeater
Nely said:
Aghrrrrr! Walmart didnt have the wet foam type. You know I have never felt weird visiting the crafts section with my wife but thanks to Bruce I did today, it was even worst cause I had to ask for help, and I thought the lady was looking at me in a funny way. :D . Anyways, I went to a local florist and she was kind enough to give me a block of oasis wet foam for free! I now will be setting up my credo and my first turpedor for that box of Toranos I got in the way.
So do you owe your wife anything for going with you to the craft store? Hey it is better than if you went in there alone I guess eh?

Glad to hear it is working out now. :)
 

Bruce5

Lowland Gorilla
Nely,
I told you about that Walmart.....
Let us know how your humidity holds once you have it all set up.
.
 
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