Nobody wants a dry cigar, so keeping that stogie moist is very important to a cigar aficionado. The question is, how do you keep them moist and how much of “it” do you need? Of course, there are electrical systems and other systems developed by humidor manufacturers that automate the process. However, many cigar smokers prefer to go the natural route, and the less expensive route for that matter, and work with beads. Yes, beads. Beads (whether silica gel or another variety) are effective in absorbing and releasing moisture, therefore making a home grown system of controlling the humidity in a humidor storage unit.
How many beads do you need? First understand how the process works. The beads go inside the humidor and work naturally; however, they only collect the moisture that you put into the box. Therefore, after putting the beads inside you must spray or spread via syringe distilled water atop the beads, aiming for about 70% wetness. Don’t soak them and do not use any type of water besides distilled water. Otherwise, you will ruin the beads.
Once you have the beads (and you might as well buy a few extra for backup) it’s time to figure out how many you need for one box. In general, one ounce of beads covers 500 square inches of humidor space. Five cubic feet, therefore, would require more—about one whole pound of beads. You’re not really in danger of over-moistening the beads; in fact, you don’t really have to worry about putting too many beads inside. All the extras are basically giving you is shelf space—more beads to store or release moisture. Besides, with all of these beads performing the same function, you can count on double efficiency. The only way to over moisten these beads would be to get them wet. And yes, wet cigars are susceptible to mold.
If you want a customized figure then try this. Measure the depth, width and height of the unit. Then multiply all three numbers in that order. Now multiply the number by the ounces needed per cubic inch. This would be a rate of .00185185. Now take that number and divide it by 16 (ounces in one pound). There you have the number of pounds in beads needed for your humidor. It’s a good amount of trouble to store cigars safely…but once you taste a fresh, collector’s item cigar, it is well worth the effort!How Do I Calculate How Much Humidity Beads I Need for My Humidor? by David Sabot