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Old 03-13-2015, 03:23 PM   #1
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Location: Stafford, VA
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Calibrating your Cigar Hygrometer: AKA The Salt Test

I did not see a sticky of this anywhere, so for newbs like me.....

To ensure that your cigars are being stored at the correct environment, use this guide to calibrate your cigar hygrometer. It’s always a good idea to check the accuracy of your hygrometer. You can use the Salt Test method on both digital and analog hygrometers. Most hygrometers today can either be adjusted or calibrated to an accurate reading. The salt test method won’t fail you, and it’s very easy to do.

To calibrate cigar hygrometer you’ll need the following:
  • Small sandwich ziplock baggy
  • Bottle cap from 2 liter soda bottle (works best)
  • Table salt
  • Hygrometer (whichever one you want to test, digital or analog)
STEP 1: Fill bottle cap with standard table salt; fill about 3/4 of the way up.

Add tap water to the bottle cap to saturate the salt. If you see water floating on top of the salt, you’ve added too much water. Easy fix for this is to grab a paper towel, and soak up all of the excess water. You want more of a wet sand consistency of water and salt. Again, if you see water actually floating on top of the salt, soak up the excess with a paper towel.

Place both hygrometer and bottle cap (with salt/water mixture) inside of a small ziplock baggy. Wait 24 hours and come back for a reading check.

If your hygrometer is perfectly accurate, it will read 75%. Most hygrometers will be +/- 3 %.

If your hygrometer is digital and has a calibration button, follow the directions that it came with to calibrate to 75%.

Digital hygrometers have a calibration button you push, while analog hygrometers have a screw which allows you to adjust the needle accordingly.

If your hygrometer is not adjustable, you’ll just have to make a note and remember how far off it is.

Update: I did the salt test on my new digital Xikar hygrometer. It read 71% RH so this tells me I am four degrees "hot". So, if my hygrometer is reading 72% RH it will actually be at 76%. I want my specific hygrometer to read somewhere between 61-66% which will actually be 65-70%. My hygrometer does not have a feature to be able to adjust the data. Are you confused yet? Yea, I'm new to this as well.

As always I reserve the right to be wrong.


Last edited by jeepdad; 03-15-2015 at 03:11 AM.
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