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Heartfelt Beads, Frequently Asked Questions

Ian T

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Sorry I am a noob and can't figure out how to search thread... Some of my beads in my cooler are starting to turn yellow/brown. I have read mixed things about this. Is this normal?? Thanks in advance, Ian
 
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I clicked the sponsor link but it appears to be broken. Does anyone know if there is a coupon code for heartfelt? Looking to pick up a lb of 65%.
 
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@knw247 Thanks for the response. I had previously found both of those online however heartfelt industries appears to be European and the ones on amazon have poor reviews (could simply be user error).
 
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@knw247 Thanks for the response. I had previously found both of those online however heartfelt industries appears to be European and the ones on amazon have poor reviews (could simply be user error).
My personal experience is with straight kitty litter. I've heard great things about the heartfelt beads. I'd post more details here about the kl but it would feel rude considering this thread is about giving details for the heartfelt beads. Feel free to start a kitty litter thread if you want to get feedback from the many brothers that use it.
 
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I have noticed recently that there seems to be a lot of questions about humidification beads. Some of the questions are repeated when new folks join this fine place. I was prompted by a fine BOTL, steamnjn23, to write up some information about the use, care and feeding of humidification beads so here goes.

Let’s start with the basics.

Humidification beads are a moisture sensitive silica material which absorbs and desorbs moisture in order to offset changes in relative humidity (RH) in your humidor. The beads are generally available preset to a specific RH, in the case of cigars 60%, 65% and 70%. Opinions differ as to what is the “best” RH for cigars but most BOTLs seem to prefer 65% and that is my experience as well.

Humidification beads were first developed for the art and museum industry and are used extensively by that industry for the stable storage of priceless artifacts and art. The manufacturer I purchase the beads I sell also supplies places such as the Smithsonian and The National Archives.

A question that is often asked; “Are humidification beads the same as ordinary desiccant silica gel?” Definitely NOT! Humidification beads give off water vapor, as well as absorb it, to maintain a specific RH which is ideal for a cigars particular need. This is not the case with silica gel which can only absorb water then must be dried out after it is saturated. By nature silica gel is not meant to control humidity, only lower it. Humidification beads are the premier product for precise control in terms of performance, cost effectiveness, and simplicity.

One good point to remember is humidification beads have an indefinite life span. There is nothing to wear out and all that is needed to maintain them is either the addition of distilled water or the drying out of the beads if they become water logged.

You will notice that every time I mention the fluid that is added to the beads I will state “distilled water”. This is extremely important, anything other than distilled water will ultimately ruin the beads. All the impurities in tap water will be drawn in by the beads and remain there. Ultimately the beads will get plugged up and not work anymore. The same is tru with any type of humidifier solution (also known as 50/50 solution) this will also ruin the beads in the long run.

The question I get asked the most is, “How much do I need for my ______?”

Here are some quantities for various containers.
5 cubic feet requires 1 pound of humidification beads.
1/3 pound of beads per 50 quarts (coolerdors)
1 ounce of beads per 50 count in a desktop humi (so a 100 count would need 2 ounces, 150 count 3 ounces etc.)
For our metric friends: Each pound of beads will condition 141,584.233 cubic centimeters.

Calculating the cubic area of your humi:
Measure the depth, width and height of you humi (example is 24” depth, 36” wide and 48” height)
Multiply the three; 24x36x48=41472 cubic inches
Divide 41472 by 1728 (number of cubic inches in a cubic foot) 41472/1728= 24 cubic feet
Divide the cubic feet by 5 (number of cubic feet per pound) 24/5 = 4.8
You would need 4.8 pounds of humidification beads for this humi.

Remember that these calculations and quantities are the minumum amount you should put in a given space for control of RH. You can however place more in your humidor than these amounts without the chance of harming your cigars or the humidor, the right RH will still be maintained. The additional beads will only increase the amount of stored moisture which will just extend the amount of time before any distilled water needs to be added. They will also help the humidor recover to the proper RH quicker after the lid or door is opened.

Another question that keeps coming up is; “How do I add distilled water to the beads when they get dry?”

There are a number of ways to do this but whichever method you chose only add enough distilled water to make 70-75% of the beads clear and the rest either opaque or white. This gives the beads the ability to absorb excess humidity introduced by more moist cigars you may add to your humidor.

The method I use and prefer is using a spray bottle. I purchased an inexpensive spray bottle at the grocery store and filled it with distilled water. When the beads need water I just spray them until they have absorbed enough distilled water. This method will work well if you have the beads in a bag or dish.

You can just pour distilled water on the beads and pour off the excess. A lot of folks do it this way but the beads can fracture when it is done this way. One thing to remember, fracturing will not affect the efficiency of the beads or ruin them in any way, they will still do their job.

You can put a container of distilled water, like a bowl, next to the beads and let them absorb the distilled water in this way. When they have absorbed all they can remove the bowl. This method is effective but takes a while for the beads to absorb the water.

A method developed by a BOTL at Cigar Utopia is very easy. Place a paper towel that has been wet down with distilled water on the beads. They will soak up the moisture and re-charge.

Another question is; If my beads are going white, should I add distilled water until they are all clear?

The optimal is to have about 70-75% of them clear. Don't try to get them all clear because if you do they cannot absorb any sudden rise in humidity in your humi.

Another question is; “What do I put the beads in?”

A great variety of containers are possible. You can use a drawstring mesh bag, place the beads in a shot glass or small dish, put them is a leftover container with holes drilled in the lid, nylon stockings (be careful stealing them from your wife or significant other), the aluminum cases I sell to contain the beads (replaces the black plastic rectangular humidifier that comes with alot of humidors) or any other container. The main point of whatever container you choose is to have the greatest amount of surface area as possible exposed to the air. If possible the beads should be no more than 1 to 1 ½ inches deep, this way they will work the best.

Lastly we will deal with; “How can I tell when the beads need water?”

This is very easy. The color of the beads is the dead give away. When they are full of distilled water they are pretty much clear and when they are completely dried out they are a bright white. Believe me you will be able to tell the difference.

As I think of other things or as questions rise I will edit this post and add that information. I hope this helps. One thing I do want to make clear is that I am still happy to answer any questions that you may have. This post is in no way meant to keep you from asking me.
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Excellent info. And who knew so much math was involved. Lol! Thanks for the post. Helpful for newbies such as myself.
 
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Quick tip for those buying HF beads for the first time.. they come humidified. NO NEED to wet them in DW... In fact, be very stingy when wetting the HF beads.. they don't need much. Just need to "moisten" them. Spray bottle is a good apparatus for "moistening" them. If you're going for beads definitely spend the extra four bucks and go with HF as opposed to what they sell on Amazon. HF beads are Two-Way RH regulators like Boveda packs . from what I saw, all the beads on Amazon are one way. Two-Way makes all the difference in the world..

Question to the HF bead users.. any of you put your HF beads directly on your cigars? Any issues for those that do? Assuming you're using either the nylon bags, panty hose, or tubes as the storage mechanism.. I'm guessing there's no issues as people put Boveda bags directly on cigars with no issue -- same concept no?

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Question to the HF bead users.. any of you put your HF beads directly on your cigars? Any issues for those that do? Assuming you're using either the nylon bags, panty hose, or tubes as the storage mechanism.. I'm guessing there's no issues as people put Boveda bags directly on cigars with no issue -- same concept no?

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Yup i have the tubes and i put them in my cigar trays with the cigars on top and next to them no problem. Also a spray bottle is a quick way to recharge them but i recharge them same way as boveda, just put them in a tupperware with a damp towel/sponge and let it sit a day or two(depends on how dry beads are) this way you don't run the risk of over spraying causing the beads to break.
 
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I’ve put my new Heartfelt 65% tubes into my wineador after hydrating approx 1/2 of the beads but my RH is 71-72. I’m thinking that I may have over hydrated them. Should I dry them out and what would be the best way?
 

Boudie

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How long has it been? Unless they where floating in water the little bit of extra dampness should be absorbed by the rest of the system and everything will stabilize but that could be a day or so. If you continue to have problems, remove them to their own ziplock or sealed Tupperware and check the humidity. You may have gotten the wrong/bad beads.
 
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Thanks Boudie. I think I should have put them in dry as the RH was at around 68%. I took them out and hit them with a cold hair dryer for a bit and put them back in. I’ll leave them for a few hours and see what they do.
 
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Does anyone have any suggestions on how best to contact Heartfelt. I ordered 60% beads and am pretty sure they sent me 65%. I have emailed and sent a direct message to viper139, with no response.
 
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