Aging puerh: what is your setup?

Post Reply
User avatar
teasecret
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:52 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:51 pm

Ginpachi wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:06 pm
How did it go, so far? I hope your teas are still fine.
I'm back to mostly pumidors now, and everything tastes pretty good. I still have a couple in zip bags but they dried out too much if not heat sealed.
User avatar
Ginpachi
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:29 am
Location: Kassel, Germany

Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:22 am

teasecret wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:51 pm
I'm back to mostly pumidors now, and everything tastes pretty good. I still have a couple in zip bags but they dried out too much if not heat sealed.
Good to know, thanks for the response!
Noonie
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:05 am

I have a pumidor question and didn't want to post a new topic...

I use bovida packs in an old wine fridge. The setup has been working well and with two bovida packs the inside is around 65 RH. When I put more tea in the fridge (say adding 4-5 cakes to the existing 10 or so) do I need more bovida packs, or the same? Of course I'll monitor this, but for now I've added one. The fridge is now quite full as well (maybe less need for the extra pack due to less free space in there?).
Last edited by Victoria on Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mod edit: moved post
User avatar
Iizuki
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:23 am

Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:59 am

@Noonie
I wouldn't say you need to add more Bovedas. However it would help the pumi to reach the RH equilibrium faster.

As you said, long term amount of needed Bovedas is related to the open airspace and not the amount of cakes (at correct RH).

As a compromise, I often swap my Bovedas to fully charged ones when I add a considerable amount of new cakes. This way the RH still stabilizes a bit faster and no extra Bovedas are needed. (I recharge the old ones)
Noonie
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:13 am

Iizuki wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:59 am
Noonie
I wouldn't say you need to add more Bovedas. However it would help the pumi to reach the RH equilibrium faster.

As you said, long term amount of needed Bovedas is related to the open airspace and not the amount of cakes (at correct RH).

As a compromise, I often swap my Bovedas to fully charged ones when I add a considerable amount of new cakes. This way the RH still stabilizes a bit faster and no extra Bovedas are needed. (I recharge the old ones)
Thanks, @Iizuki

I only had a 4-pack on hand. I had 2 in there already. When the RH dropped after adding the new cakes I put in a 3rd Boveda. Once it reaches desired RH I may take out the 3rd one and store it in a bag...later using it as that one needed to stabilize RH when adding cakes in the future.
.m.
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:58 am

When the system is stable, i.e. constant temperature and pressure and RH stabilized, the amount of Boveda packs you need depends only on the rate you're loosing humidity, not on the amount of cakes or size of the box. However, for the system to be able to effectively react to a change (e.g. drop of temperature, which increases RH and can cause condensation), you may need much more. The recommendation on Boveda website is about 1x60g per cake (if cake ~ 25 cigars), but they make money selling them. The point is, if you keep the temperature stable, then it doesn't matter much as long as the cakes are not drying up. And if your system experiences sudden changes in temperature, then bad things can happen no matter what.
User avatar
Iizuki
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:23 am

Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:32 am

.m. wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:58 am
the amount of Boveda packs you need depends only on the rate you're loosing humidity, not on the amount of cakes or size of the box.
Quite true. My claim about the airspace being the deciding factor was based on the assumption that the box is sufficiently sealed. Then the amount of lost moisture is pretty much proportional to the amount of air that gets vented out when the pumi is opened. And that depends on the size of the airspace.

Anyway solid advice. Don't listen to Boveda :D
.m.
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:50 am

@Iizuki Good point ;)
User avatar
wave_code
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:10 pm
Location: Germany

Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:24 am

while I find things generally lose a bit of flavor over the summer as things dry out, its my first summer in a new and even drier region and I am realizing how bad of an effect the lack of moisture is having on my teas. Even my more strong fermented teas taste like very little - its a little alarming. I keep a lot more around than I used to, and I don't really want what I have to go south. I'm ordering a hygrometer now so I can monitor things and am trying to figure out what I want to do about storage- whether to get some plastic tubs, or a few smaller glass containers or large tins/jars for different teas. baskets unfortunately aren't as storage friendly as cakes.

I can get boveda packets here and I'll give the 62% a try. As for the sizes (4/8/67/320g) what size do people recommend for say every 10 liters or so? Also is it bad for the packets to be in direct contact with the tea/wrappers? I have some teas like sheng I keep around in small amounts that I still don't want to go off, but need to be stored separate. So will getting a small packet and throwing it directly on top of one or two cakes in a small container do any harm?
.m.
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:26 pm
Location: Montreal
Contact:

Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:16 am

@wave_code Usually my puerh, and to some extent other heicha too, tastes significantly better in warm weather, so tea tasting weaker in the summer sounds concerning.
If you have a number of separate packages, you can get for example a bunch of the 8g packs (because they are cheap) to put one into each package to compensate for the humidity loss (yes you can keep it in direct contact with the tea), plus get a few of the 67g and rotate them, leaving them with each tea for a few days/weeks to help rehydratate it. Or you can get good quality foil bags that don't loose much humidity and seal each tea after you hydrate it with the 67g pouch without leaving any Boveda pack inside (this is a safer option). I'd probably go a tad higher with 65%RH (i'm using 69% at this moment).

BTW. The hydratation rate should depend mainly on the surface of the pack, not on the weight, so 67g is in this regard equivalent to 4 or 5 x 8g.
User avatar
wave_code
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:10 pm
Location: Germany

Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:50 am

great, thanks for the tips. I'll have to see if I can find the 65% - its mostly grow shops here and a few cigar places that sell them and the higher humidity ones don't seem as popular for that (maybe too high a mold/damp risk?) so it takes some more digging, or maybe I'll try a different brand.

if I want to try some aging experiments how high could I go without risking mold?

its funny I find the opposite to be true seasonally here- winter is much better for me. it gets very dry here in summer (our groundwater level has technically been in a drought for the last couple years I believe), but in the winter its usually not warm enough for snow so we get lots of rain and I find the increased moisture in the air helps both taste and smell.
User avatar
Iizuki
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:23 am

Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:53 am

wave_code wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:50 am
how high could I go without risking mold?
I think that 72% is a pretty common choice, myself included. You can probably go higher if you stay on alert and have enough airflow.
User avatar
Balthazar
Posts: 324
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:04 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:48 am

wave_code wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:24 am
I can get boveda packets here and I'll give the 62% a try. As for the sizes (4/8/67/320g) what size do people recommend for say every 10 liters or so? Also is it bad for the packets to be in direct contact with the tea/wrappers? I have some teas like sheng I keep around in small amounts that I still don't want to go off, but need to be stored separate. So will getting a small packet and throwing it directly on top of one or two cakes in a small container do any harm?
I'm using the 72% bags myself. No issues with mold one year in. As far as how many bags to use, I use two 60g bags for my 15 liters crock. They need to be recharged about every two months (of course the more I open the storage containers and the drier my apartment is, the more often they will need recharging).

It's probably safe to have it touching the tea wrapper. Personally I keep a thin layer of plastic between the boveda packs and whatever they are lying on top of.


Here's some photos from my setup:

Main storage unit for sheng puer, 15 liters crock. A dinner plate is used as a lid (with a cotton kitchen towel as a seal).

Image

Inside:
Image
(The hygrometer is usually placed at around the midpoint of the crock, but I took it out for the purpose of taking this picture...)

A smaller crock, unfortunately a bit too narrow to store full cakes.
Image
Image

The only plastic container in use, dedicated to shu puer. Holds three cakes and a couple bricks. Which is like a two-year supply of shu for me...
Image
Image

Finally, three porcelain jars that have been used to store Chinese medicine. The larger one contains shu (but once it's emptied out it's probably going to get dedicated to heicha), the smaller ones tuos/bricks/samples.
Image
Image
Image
(The hygrometer in the crock above is a bit off, at around 10 percentage points above the true value.)

(Also, I should thank @sqt for convincing me about going the Boveda route last year. The do last much longer than I used to assume, and the fact that they are rechargable makes it a really affordable and hassle-free option. (I actually went out to buy 16 liters of distilled water for future recharging yesterday. Have been using tap water for a long time, but read some stories about mold that had me reconsider my penny-wise ways.)
sqt
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:14 pm
Location: Paris / Oslo
Contact:

Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:49 am

Balthazar wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:48 am
(Also, I should thank sqt for convincing me about going the Boveda route last year. The do last much longer than I used to assume, and the fact that they are rechargable makes it a really affordable and hassle-free option. (I actually went out to buy 16 liters of distilled water for future recharging yesterday. Have been using tap water for a long time, but read some stories about mold that had me reconsider my penny-wise ways.)
@Balthazar I am extremely happy to hear it's working out for you. The longest I've had tea stored in Norway this way is close to 4 years and it is going strong still. I can't speak for aging but it definitely isn't deteriorating.

I also use distilled water and make sure hands are as close to sterile as I can manage when handling the boveda recharging procedure.

I have more boveda than I need, which means that I can easily swap ones that are starting to dry out with replenished ones that I keep in a clean mylar bag. I also keep more boveda than needed in the pumidor I open most often, to minimize how often I have to swap them out and recharge them.

@.m. my experience as well is that all my sheng tastes significantly better in the warmer summer months in northern europe, whereas in the very dry winter it goes almost flat, even though the temperature indoors stays stable (but with very low relative humidity) and the tea itself is stored at ~70% humidity.
User avatar
Victoria
Admin
Posts: 2315
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:05 pm

Balthazar wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:48 am
Here's some photos from my setup:
Main storage unit for sheng puer, 15 liters crock. A dinner plate is used as a lid (with a cotton kitchen towel as a seal).

Image

Inside:
Image
(The hygrometer is usually placed at around the midpoint of the crock, but I took it out for the purpose of taking this picture...)
@Balthazar thanks for sharing in detail your whole storage set up, nice to see. Totally with you on using distilled water to recharge boveda packs, tap has too many organic compounds that can lead to mold. I’m curious with your larger 15L crock, I’ll assume you have to remove every cake to get to the bottom. Do you keep a log of which cake is where in each crock?
Post Reply