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Old 07-19-2002, 11:09 AM   #1
Cigarnv
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I have gotten several emails from CW members concering a post I did on CF. Rather than to repeat the information via email I will just copy the post here. The post addresses my thoughts on silica gel products and how they differ.....
-Climmax is the most expensive silica gel based product. Best price I have seen is $24/ pound. I hear the product performs as stated, but is expensive when compared to plain silica gel (KLH) which I feel performs as well when conditioned. It comes preconditioned at 65 or 70%.

-Arten Gel is the exact same product as Climmax (my opinion...but you read the desc. below) but is available at any humidity point for $15/ pound or unconditioned at $10/ pound. The description of the product is-

ARTEN SILICA GEL

Silica gel acts as a buffer inside a sealed environment to offset unacceptable conditions of relative humidity outside the sealed environment. ARTEN Silica gel is preconditioned to whatever percentage of relative humidity is required and will maintain that level over time. When the exterior environment is at a higher humidity than the gel, the gel absorbs excess moisture in the air inside the sealed environment to maintain a stable level of relative humidity. When the exterior environment is at a lower humidity than the gel, the gel releases moisture into the air inside the sealed environment to maintain a stable level of relative humidity. ARTEN Silica Gel has been formulated to perform most effectively at mid-range humidity (40 to 55%) giving 2 to 3 times as much buffering as regular density silica gels. The optimum quantity of silica gel for any application has been found to be one pound of gel per three cubic feet of space. Arten Silica Gel is available in loose form, either conditioned to a custom relative humidity or dry (15 to 20% relative humidity). It is shipped in moisture tight bags or buckets to maintain its specific relative humidity.

Arten Silica Gel (Dry) Item #4150............................................. .....$10.00/lb

Arten Silica Gel (Custom % Relative Humidity) Item #4170............................................. .....$15.00/lb

The web address is http://www.apsnyc.com/index.html

-KLH is pure silica gel (Crystal Kitty Litter) costs about $2 per pound and works as well as the above items when conditioned...IMHO

-Kitty Litter=KLH

-Flower Drying beads-pure silica gel...way over priced

I like KLH...it works great for me and it is cheap. You pick what you think is best for you
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Old 07-19-2002, 12:29 PM   #2
stempler
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And how do you condition the kitty litter gel?

Robert
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:12 PM   #3
ab
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For me, the cost of proper humidification is insignificant in comparison to what I pay for cigars. Does it really matter if you pay a few extra dollars?
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:16 PM   #4
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Robert, once again I will lift a post I made on CF. Part of it deals with conditioning..but in a nutshell I place beads in a air tight container and place a wet sponge in the container but not touching the beads. When the humidity in the container reaches the % I want (66% in my case) I remove the sponge and hold them steady for 1-2 weeks...the following post touches on this....
esteban, that ratio is provided by Arten for use in a museum. For that intended use keep in mind that the display cases tend to have a lot of air and not much buffering material. In a humi each box of cigars serves as a buffer and the more buffer in the humi the more consistent the humidity. I have a 25 cu.ft. humi that is very full and I find that 2 pounds works very well.

They key to success with the beads is to use them once the humi is stable and not to use them in a new humi that has not been brought up to the % you desire. When I got my large box I just used several sponges soaked with distilled water on plates to get to 66%. It is critical that the wood is at 66%, not just the air in the humi..I found it took close to 2 weeks for my large box to settle in.

Once stable I added my cigars and the beads and have been good ever since. You will know the box is stable when you remove the sponges and the humidity is still in range the next day. I kept the humi as full as possible and use empty boxes to fill in empty space. The boxes, cigars, humi wood and the beads all serve as buffering material.

As you know I use KLH but if you do not want to hassle with conditioning the beads Arten is great stuff. Keep in mind that if you put KLH (unconditioned) in the empty humi as you condition the humi, you will also be conditioning the beads..in effect when you are steady state at the % you want the beads will be conditioned at that % also. From that point forward just add some water when the humidity falls 1-2%.

Keep in mind that conditioning the KLH or any silica product means keeping it at the humidity you want for 1-2 weeks at which point it developes a "memory" and attempts to remain at that %. Very simple to do and ideal to do when you have a new humi and are conditioning it any way. As a side note you can condition an extra few pounds during the humi conditioning process and store them in a zip lock for use in other humis or as replacement beads...I think 5lbs. of KLH is $10-12...

Regarding Arten (if you think it is a product you like)..I would buy the $10/pd. unconditioned beads and do the conditioning yourself as you condition the humi.
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:21 PM   #5
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ab..I guess if you save a few bucks you can buy a few more cigars. to push that thought a bit more if you want to spend a few bucks you stop fooling around with beads, foam, hydra gel... and just install an active system with digital control.....
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:50 PM   #6
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It always will be. But, people are always after the best product for the application they need at the best price possible.
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:51 PM   #7
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You can also look at it another way. By playing with and testing many of these alternatives, you can search the archives between CW and CF and learn more about humidification that you ever thought you would. The better informed someone is, the easier it is to troubleshoot problems or mesh products to particular applications.
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Old 07-19-2002, 03:46 PM   #8
Cigarnv
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Mike, you make an excellent point. None of these humidification devices/products is perfect but understanding them allows you to pick the best. I started looking at humidification because I found in the winter my active system worked wonderfully as I was always adding humidity. In the summer however I find the need to remove humidity and KLH works well....

I would also point out that you use what works for you..there is no best for everyone. I find KLH is the best for me, but Arten and Climmax are very good products also ...use what you find is the best.

On a final note smart retailers and manufactures use information to build better products at lower costs....Mike has built a business around this concept....I think I hear those wheels turning again Mike....
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Old 07-19-2002, 04:00 PM   #9
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Mhotek and Cigarnv, both of you have echoed what I have been saying all along both here and at CF. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cigar humidifiction. Focus on what best meets your needs.

Obviously, all of us are concerned about value. If two products provide identical levels of satisfaction but at different price points, obviously one would/should gravitate towards the lower price option.

Cigarnv has peaked my interest regarding Arten. I would like to know more since there is a substantial price difference between their beads and the competition.

Bottom line, silica beads while they work work and are highly adaptable to a variety of situations, do require more attention (as a rule) than other types of humidification media. If you travel a lot as I do for long periods of time, conventional florist foam and/or polymers do the job quite well. This is what I rely on. Cheers.
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Old 07-21-2002, 05:48 AM   #10
vern
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Monday I introduce a product at the RTDA that will directly compete with another product on the market,
and I know they aware of this.
Now at the same time a couple of guys from Cigar family that have rarely posted here start Dissin my product.
I am not suggesting anything just thinking out loud.
Interesting, Don't you think?




Edited by - vern on 07/21/2002 11:29:36 AM

Edited by - vern on 07/21/2002 11:30:46 AM

Edited by - vern on 07/21/2002 11:36:04 AM

Edited by - vern on 07/21/2002 11:38:01 AM
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