Cigars storage in a Refrigerator?


Philopez
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I live in Las Vegas and the temperature is already in the 100’s. My home is set at 78F, about as cold as the wife can take. I freeze all my stock so hopefully, that has minimized the possibility of beetles. After reading about all that goes into a wineador modification I am in need of another solution. I suppose Mr. Pig can put me down as faint of heart.

Enter, the temperature-controlled fermentation fridge modification. Apparently, this is common among homebrewers.

The plan is to purchase a refrigerator, add an inkbird temperature controller (also has a heating element switch, just in case hell freezes over), buy loads of tupperdors, fill with bovedas, insert my newly acquired 24:24 stash and wait…patiently.

Will this work? My assumption is that with sealed tupperdors with 62% bovedas and a temperature range of 64-66F,  I should be on my way to having a GREAT 2025. 

Apart from convincing the missus, what do I need to consider? What have I missed?

The fridge will be out in my garage where the temperatures easily get into the 110F+ range. I have had a freezer out there for 2 years now and it's still working so there's that. 

Will the fridge suck out the moisture from the tupperdors? Can I compensate by just adding a bowl of water? From what I have read the temperature will fluctuate about 2 degrees when the cooling activates with the inkbird. 

I kinda took a "Field of Dreams" approach to my collection, BUY THEM and figure out the storage later. And here I am. 

Any and all advice will be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Phil
 

 

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  You probably have to look into dew points because youre more than likely going to run into condensation issues if you've got hot air in contact with cold surfaces and you don't want to go down the route of pools of water inside your storage

  It might be worth looking into passive systems. If you freeze your stock you won't have to worry about beetles then your only concern really will be mould. Really good sealed containers and overloading on beads would sort that issue out. You might not even need to go down an active system

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10 minutes ago, CaptainQuintero said:

  You probably have to look into dew points because youre more than likely going to run into condensation issues if you've got hot air in contact with cold surfaces and you don't want to go down the route of pools of water inside your storage

  It might be worth looking into passive systems. If you freeze your stock you won't have to worry about beetles then your only concern really will be mould. Really good sealed containers and overloading on beads would sort that issue out. You might not even need to go down an active system

My main concern is the high temperature of 78F. Although I have read about the possibility of speeding up aging, I would much rather control the temperature and let the cigars rest. My hope was that the bovedas would limit the condensation inside the tupperdors. 😕

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50 minutes ago, Philopez said:

My main concern is the high temperature of 78F. Although I have read about the possibility of speeding up aging, I would much rather control the temperature and let the cigars rest. My hope was that the bovedas would limit the condensation inside the tupperdors. 😕

  At the end of the day everyone will have their own solution but esssentially if you have an active system, ie a sealed unit that is constantly creating a cold atmosphere you're going to have a constant issue of condensation if you're hitting dew point. So beads/gel etc will eventually fill up and stop taking on moisture and that has to go somewhere. Worst case scenario is you're getting a pool of water at the bottom of your storage or in your boxes. 

  Piggy has an active system where that moisture is constantly removed by a built in system. Beads etc just left would need to be removed, dried out, added, removed, dried out..

 It's a question of what you want to do in terms of money/energy expenditure. Passive systems will be cheaper and less time intensive but may not be as stable if you want an atmosphere that doesn't change.

  We're all after a storage solution that removes the risk of tobacco beetle and mould. Everyone has their own solution but it pretty much lies with either a passive system of a sealed unit and beads or an active system with cooling and a system to remove the excess moisture that system can create if you're creating condensation as a by product of that active cooling.

  Tobacco beetles can dealt with by either freezing or stopping temperature rising above a certain number. If you freeze you don't have to worry about temperature (Baring extremes). If you keep r/h humidity down, you won't get mould. Temperature and humidity are linked so there is a point where you'd need to try to control it if you're in an extreme climate.

  It's a big rabbit hole! I didn't want to go down it so stuck to the passive side and it's worked for me. There's people who have active systems and it works just fine for them too

  I personally wouldn't worry too much about the ageing side of things, there's so many factors in there you can't control. The best thing you can do long term is create a storage environment that keeps them in smoking condition and time will do what it decides to your cigars

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3 hours ago, Puros Y Vino said:

For my vintage fivers and singles I use a 12 count wine fridge and Tupperware with Bovedas. I've been using this setup for about 10 years without issue.  

This is what I am thinking about, but a regular sized fridge. They seem to cost about the same or less than a wine fridge. Correct me if I'm wrong but regular fridges don't usually go up to the higher temps of wine fridges (55-70F) range. This is the reason for the temp controller for the regular fridge but, then there is the question of condensation. 

Do you have any condensation problems?

Use anything in the fridge itself to add or remove moisture?

p.s. Sweet set up!

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7 hours ago, CaptainQuintero said:

It's a big rabbit hole! I didn't want to go down it so stuck to the passive side and it's worked for me.

Ahh yes the rabbit holes, I jumped in to 24:24 and the water seems fine. As such, I feel I need to continue my journey and as you said "find my solution". Salud

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I got this idea after seeing someone use a whole fridge with larger bins. Was on FOH IIRC.  No condensation issues. I do notice the Bovedas need more changing/recharging than normal.  The unit is a Peltier vs condenser unit I think.  There's a reservoir to gather moisture at the back but I've never seen it fills or if it does it evaporates before I notice yet.  

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5 minutes ago, Puros Y Vino said:

I got this idea after seeing someone use a whole fridge with larger bins. Was on FOH IIRC.  No condensation issues. I do notice the Bovedas need more changing/recharging than normal.  The unit is a Peltier vs condenser unit I think.  There's a reservoir to gather moisture at the back but I've never seen it fills or if it does it evaporates before I notice yet.  

Fantastic! Thank you for your advice. I may be on the right path. Salud

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7 minutes ago, Philopez said:

Fantastic! Thank you for your advice. I may be on the right path. Salud

No warranties implied or given!!! 😁. Good luck. Just be vigilant the first few weeks. Go nuts with your hydrometers.  

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  • 1 month later...

i also live in nevada, i have three wine coolers and keep them at 65 degrees with 62 rh. in the summer i have to mist my cigar prior to smoking to keep it from cracking. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Late to the conversation, but I am a homebrewer and have a dedicated fermentation/lagering chest freezer using a Johnson Controls controller (but I assume it is the same essentially).  It hold anywhere from 70's to 50's fahrenheit and I do not have significant condensation issues inside.  I also use an exact same setup as a tap system in my bar that stays around 38 degrees, again no significant condensation issues so if you have them sealed inside with boveda I think it will work very well.  In my experience a 4 degree swing is very rare, when it kicks on it is a brief cycle unless I have had it open a lot changing out contents. 

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On 7/22/2021 at 10:15 AM, therealrsr said:

Late to the conversation, but I am a homebrewer and have a dedicated fermentation/lagering chest freezer using a Johnson Controls controller (but I assume it is the same essentially).  It hold anywhere from 70's to 50's fahrenheit and I do not have significant condensation issues inside.  I also use an exact same setup as a tap system in my bar that stays around 38 degrees, again no significant condensation issues so if you have them sealed inside with boveda I think it will work very well.  In my experience a 4 degree swing is very rare, when it kicks on it is a brief cycle unless I have had it open a lot changing out contents. 

After looking at the alternatives, I went with a chest freezer set up that seems to be working well. I added a small fan to help even out the temperature difference between the lower tupperdor and the upper one. I'm out of town but when I get back I'll post pics of my storage solution. A few tweaks are still needed but thanks to FOH I'm on the right path. Thank you again for all the truly helpful comments!

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