Humidity Concerns When Cellaring

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buck17

Member
Feb 14, 2018
130
8
This summer will be my first with a real collection of jars and tins. I have a basement that is open the length of the house and a small humidifier though it also has small windows going outside. In general I can cut the humidity 25-30 percent according to the humidifier but where I live there are a couple months straight of 80-100 percent humidity upstairs and outside. We don't do AC. Just wondering if there is concern for mold or other spoilage and how intense I have to get about the cellaring? One guy I know who grows another plant and stores it puts his jars in buckets and fills them with sand. I don't want to be too anal but I also can't afford to lose any of my goods. Any folks with experience in humid areas please weigh in. Hopefully it's no big deal. Thanks!

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,936
122
I am not sure how much ambient humidity will affect the tobacco inside of the sealed jars and tins. It could affect rust and corrosion of the containers more so than molding inside.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,803
110
Buck, the topic of humidity and pipe tobacco storage is very confusing. Believe me, I’ve read everything and posted many questions like yours without concrete answers. Generally it comes down to a conclusion of “just put it in a Ball jar” or watch for rust etc. I can assure you of my experience only. I have a large humidity controlled cabinet cellar (a non cedar cigar furniture sized cabinet) and the humidity is set to 55% constant. I also keep tins in plastic containers in an unused bathtub with RH that of ambient in my house. I have not noticed a difference in tins or jars with either storage method. No rust on my tins in the humidor chest. But your 80% summer RH would make me a bit nervous, so keep an eye on your tins after one season.

 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2016
1,912
2
I may be oversimplifying this, but to my mind sealed, whether in the tin or jar, mean sealed. Nothing gets in or out. However, you often hear about tins decades old whose contents have been affected by pinholes. I would think that rust attacks metal more in humid environments. You might think of jarring the tins, though I think it would take multiple summers for the humidity to damage them. People like to scoff at the relative inexpensiveness of tobacco relative to pipes, but my budget would miss every spoiled 2 oz of tobacco.

 

btp79

Member
Jan 27, 2018
215
1
Another reason I love pipes. Pipe tobacco storage is orders of magnitude less stressful than managing my cigars.

 

d4k23

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2018
300
0
Second btp79. My brother and friends who know me as a cigar smoker are dumbfounded when I tell them I am buying pipe tobacco to put away for years so I can smoke in the future.
but my budget would miss every spoiled 2 oz of tobacco.
Every hard earned dollar spent can feel this way. Most to my children, then to my wife, and what's left on tobacco.

 

jonas

New member
Apr 19, 2018
29
0
I suppose if you’re worried about the tins rusting you can place them in a sealed Rubbermaid with a dehumidifier.

 

papabearsmoker

New member
Jun 4, 2018
10
0
If you want to go to extremes, you can treat it like dry food storage that preppers have. Rice and beans are kept in a double seal system. It wouldn't be hard to do the same for your tobacco. Place your sealed tins, jars, cans, etc. in a mylar bag. Seal the mylar bag after any prep work you would like to do (silica gel, O2 absorbers...). Then place the sealed mylar bag containing your tobacco into a food grade bucket with sealing lid. After the bucket is sealed, you have 2 layers of protection between the bucket and the mylar, plus the original seal on the tins, jars and cans. It's a little extreme, but you could always just go with the buckets instead.

 

pandapiper

Junior Member
Jan 24, 2018
65
0
:/ looks like I'm going to have to invest in one or more of the above. I'm much in the same boat as buck; first summer with pipe and this heat is killing me. I relocated all my tobacco to the basement as my old brick house doesn't have AC, with the exception of one unit that the missus would kill me if I left running. The basement seemed to be staying relatively cool, but just this weekend while grabbing some LBF I noticed the ink on the labels was seemingly vanishing (some barely visible, others smudged and some were fine). I guess it gets more humid/damp down there then I realized.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,608
105
It's a good topic. After losing a bunch of tinned tobacco to corrosion that went from the inside out, not outside in, I'm jarring any C&D tins I want to keep for long term storage. And while the problem I experienced was with the very old Pease tins that C&D used, I'm hearing from others about issues with tins from other manufacturers, including McClelland, who's tins were thought to be exempt from issues. There is some speculation that blends which rely on vinegar as a preservative may develop problems down the road by corroding the tin from the inside out. So all of my St Bruno is getting jarred. The flat square and rectangular tins are getting heat sealed in 7 mil food storage grade Mylar. All of my Esoterica bags were heat sealed in 7 mil food grade Mylar. This may not save everything from going bad, but it may save more if it.
Ambient humidity isn't much of a factor where I live. And everything has been sealed under dry conditions. But that could change if I decide to move. Then again, I'm not buying much more tobacco. The cellar is complete, probably more than complete. I'm hoping to keep it that way.
As much as possible, story in a dry, cool and dark environment.

 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
658
73
One additional issue to consider is temperature. I am no authority on the matter, but I have read that the ideal storage temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees. That may be as important, or possibly more important, for storage purposes than the ambient relative humidity.