Building your first wineador is a rewarding & eye opening process. It puts you in the driver’s seat by creating your cigars’ new home. With the proper guidance you can make the perfect storage solution that will last for years. We know it can be a little overwhelming, but once you have the blueprint creating your first wineador is surprisingly easy.
To achieve the proper construction there are a lot of sites to sift through. For this reason we have condensed everything you need to know into one article. Prepare to be enlightened as you embark on this exciting new project!
How to Build the Perfect Wineador
The first step is picking a thermoelectric wine fridge. You will find that eBay & Amazon are absolutely packed with options. However, most cigar lovers pick NewAir units because of their gorgeous design. They come in 18 & 28 bottle units, so pick according to how many cigars you plan on storing. If your budget allows usually bigger is better. This is due to the fact that hoarding cigars gets easier as your passion for smoking grows.
Even though NewAir is the standard, there are plenty of other brands to choose from. Vinotemp & Koldfront/Edgestar are also solid choices. Just remember to stay away from wine fridges with dual zones. These add more variables & make it hard to achieve the ideal temperature. Also if you are going for a lower priced unit, don’t get discouraged by negative Amazon reviews. Most of these ratings stem from people trying to use the fridge’s lowest temperature, which causes system failure. For cigars we use the highest temp setting, so a low budget unit will still work fine.
Once your wine fridge arrives, it’s time to get rid of the plastic smell. The degree of the plastic odor varies, so we will give you two methods. For both methods it’s recommended that you wipe down the inside of the fridge with vinegar & then again with distilled water.
Once you have the unit wiped down, it’s time to complete the process. If the plastic odor is strong, leave a Tupperware full of baking soda at the bottom of the fridge. Leave the unit unplugged, close the door & let it sit for 5 days. If the odor isn’t overwhelming, fill the fridge with newspapers for 5 days. The carbon in the paper will absorb any unwanted scents. If the smell is super potent, you can use both methods back to back.
After you have the smell under control, your wineador is ready to be seasoned. There are two options for seasoning: unscented kitty litter & heartfelt beads. Both options will get the job done, but each has its advantages.
Even though using kitty litter sounds outrageous, it’s an innovative way to control your RH. It’s also by far the cheapest option to season your wineador. The clear crystals in kitty litter achieve 2-way humidity absorption & release. The blue crystals only release humidity, but they can still be left in. Most people choose ExquisiCat brand since they have larger crystals. Whichever brand you choose, make sure the litter isn’t scented. Once you have the litter add about two pounds of it into a Tupperware container or in multiple media bags.
To train the litter, let it sit in the wineador. After it has sat for at least 24 hours check the RH with a hygrometer. After you have jotted the results down, add a few sprays of distilled water. Check the RH & spray accordingly until you reach the desired RH.
Heartfelt beads are more expensive, but they give you more control. Their true charm is their preset humidity levels of 60, 65 & 70 RH. This gives you options while saving you the trouble of training kitty litter. The only downside of the beads is the cost.
Since the stock metal racks are unfit for cigar storage, you are going to have to get creative. This next step depends entirely on your budget. If you have the money, the ideal move would be to get Spanish cedar trays custom made for your wineador. If you are in a financial crisis you can use Tupperware or non custom cedar boxes as trays.
To keep your RH steady you are going to need the help of hygrometers. Normally people use two, one at the top & one at the bottom. Just make sure that they are easily visible so you don’t have to open the doors to check on them. Another way to enhance the circulation of your wineador is with a fan. But this isn’t entirely necessary since the wine fridge has its own circulation unit.
Once your wineador achieves a steady RH you are ready to fill it up with sticks. Wineadors are a great way for people to keep their cigars at a steady temperature in hot climates. Depending on how overboard you went they are also a cheaper option to store hundreds of cigars. Throw in the fact that they are incredibly good looking & you have an epic storage solution! Enjoy your wineador & fill it up with as many sticks as you can.
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