Aging puerh: what is your setup?

gregcss
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Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:06 pm

tealifehk wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:49 am
At present, I'm aging tea in cartons and tongs, but eventually I transfer cakes to plastic zip-top bags with cotton on the outside. This makes the tea much more aromatic after the first two years or so of natural decomposition, and also stops the loss of aromatics into the atmosphere. There is still some air exchange through the seal on the bag. I've found this to be the best method for me after aging a lot of different tea (sheng and shu) in my natural environment here in Hong Kong. At present I have around 300kg of pu aging away.

Certain teas get more time: Xiaguan Teji and Jiaji and T8653 cakes are tightly compressed, so I let them do their thing. I still find aromatics rebound when I place these teas into the cotton/plastic zipper bags, so when I feel the teas are ready, into bags they go!
Such long experiments. Glad it's working out.
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teasecret
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Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:38 am

an update on my storage:
young sheng has been consistently frustrating - I've kept well within appropriate parameters and my tea is still going awry. I've aired it out for a day and am storing it now unhumidified for a while to settle. I don't heat my storage. Oddly, once the flavor and smell started to turn strange, the humidity wouldn't go up anymore.
I have two ideas:
1) run a small fan to circulate the air
or
2) store cakes in nylon-cotton zip bags: open for a couple weeks to get humid, then sealed once well-conditioned.
anyone with some experience with success or failure can give advice here?
Atlas
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Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:59 pm

teasecret wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:38 am
young sheng has been consistently frustrating - I've kept well within appropriate parameters and my tea is still going awry.
What is happening currently, and how does this differ from what you are attempting to achieve?

Additionally, how do you imagine your two ideas would improve the situation?
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teasecret
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Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:46 am

Atlas wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:59 pm
teasecret wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:38 am
young sheng has been consistently frustrating - I've kept well within appropriate parameters and my tea is still going awry.
What is happening currently, and how does this differ from what you are attempting to achieve?

Additionally, how do you imagine your two ideas would improve the situation?
It was at a steady 62% 70F recently (have had this storage for a year). Started smelling less pleasant, more sour. Tried a couple teas, they tasted way off, sweetness gone, more like sour and papery/musty, but unlike the typical "too-dry" sourness. I also noticed that smelling the pumidor made me dizzy in a way it didn't usually. I found no mold on any cakes, but I was able to brush them all with an unused toothbrush to remove anything I couldn't see. I aired it out for a day and now it's being sealed without any humidity for a week to settle down and to prevent the smell from leaking out.
I was just trying to keep my sheng in a stable, well conditioned state with moderate aging.
I would use a fan to circulate the air because apparently there can be pockets of too-high humidity in stagnant air.
Also, I would use zip bags to allow cakes to use their own humidity to age themselves once conditioned, and any problematic cakes would not affect the other cakes.
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Rickpatbrown
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:42 pm

Trying everything I can ...
15$ glass jars from Walmart with saturated NaCl solution in jar. These definitely dont have any smell. The lids fit tight enough to keep the humidity around 65%RH, but aren't airtight. These aren't as convenient as a minifridge (still need to get rid of plastic smell in the minifridge), since they dont have shelves. Getting tea out is not as easy.

The clear glass also makes it necessary to protect from sunlight.
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teasecret
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:46 am

As a quick update - all my cakes are now in their own cotton paper zip bags sitting in a 62% environment outside the bags to prevent drying over time. This should be a lot more stable and keep anything from growing while preserving aromatics and moisture. I've tried a couple cakes that were tasting musty and they seem to be recovering.
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