Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

Aging Puerh.

90 Replies
mrmopar said

will you put some great info up!! amazing knowledge. i may have some questions about my stash if that is ok later on.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Will said

I have a custom humidor made by a cigar humidor manufacturer. A few other folks have had them made by the same outfit.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5242/5307570080_1d3b38d8d1_b.jpg

Some other folks’ experiences over here:
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7493

It’s hard to say how successful this approach will be in the long run. Also, I will say that any approach like this requires some maintenance to prevent mold from developing — even at moderate humidity levels. Distilled water needs to be used, the humidifier wicks need to be replaced periodically, and the reservoirs cleaned with a diluted bleach solution. Care has to be taken not to over-humidify to the point where mold develops too easily. In other words, it’s a pain to deal with sometimes.

A local friend of mine made his own pumidor using a hydroponic gardening enclosure and some cigar humidifiers. A lot cheaper than the solution above!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJNHIKjtALU

What brand and model is it? That looks really awesome. The only problem is that when I was looking at those it cost a couple hundred dollars. Building my own would cost less than a hundred.

Will said

Uh yeah, we are talking about thousands of dollars, not hundreds, so it’s not a cost effective solution — even the freight shipping would run a couple hundred.

This is more or less a custom model, but some basic pricing and information is here:
http://www.aristocrathumidors.com/

Obviously, it needs to be a humidor made with a neutral wood. A humidor made of cedar would probably not be appropriate for tea aging.

Huh, the ones I was looking at were hovering around 350 but they were smaller than those. Something like this http://www.cigarhumidors-online.com/cigar-humidors/enlarged/oxfordenlarge.htm

Will said

Yeah, the big problem with ones that are already made is that most of them (at least those designed for the US market) are lined with cedar.

Ya. May I ask what temp and humidity you keep your humidor at and how long you have been aging your puerhs.

Will said

You can’t easily control the temperature (at least, mine has no heater), so it’s just kept at house temperature. I usually keep the humidifier set between mid-upper 60s and low 70s. Sometimes I’ll keep it up a bit more in the summer, and down in the winter, to simulate the humidity fluctuation across seasons.

I’ve had the pumidor since 2009. I’ve been storing some pu’er one way or another since maybe ’06 or ’07.

One other thing to note is that the humidifiers are a bit noisy, so you wouldn’t want to put this in, say, a bedroom.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Will said

Hygrometer is very useful for keeping an eye on the environment. Keeping one of these around is a good idea just in terms of keeping an idea of the normal temperature / humidity in the area you’re keeping your tea. There are some with remote sensors as well, which is great for keeping track of the environment inside a sealed cabinet.

The beads are less hassle than active humidifiers, but make sure you do the calculations correctly for the size of your cabinet, and also make sure the cabinet is as airtight as possible. Otherwise, the beads will release all the water very quickly and will be essentially useless. If you use the beads, you will also not want to open the container very often.

I’ll have to work on making the cabinet more airtight. The current one I’m using is one I already had and is fairly small so 1 lb should be fine for it

So I have a question. Most places I have read says that Puerh needs airflow. The cabinet will be almost all the way airtight for the beads and I will have a fan for circulation inside the cabinet but new air will not be introduced. Should I open the cabinet for a couple minutes each day to introduce new air so It does not become stale and cause the tea to mold?

Will said

I open mine occasionally for air exchange, and that is what I would suggest.

Login or sign up to post a message.

ashmanra said

You folks are amazing. Period.

Haha, thanks. It should be fun

Login or sign up to post a message.

It’s going pretty good so far. I Have a 1 foot wide by 2 feet tall, by 2 feet deep cabinet with almost no smell. I am using weatherstripping to close most of the cracks. I am using a cookie rack to put the puerh on top of and a shallow bowl underneath to hold my humidity beads. The hygrometer is going to be stuck on the side. I am still awaiting the arrival of the beads and hygrometer but once those arrive I will post pictures. I have two cakes on order and on christmas I’m getting 4 more. I’ll put some pictures and reviews up of those as well.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Another update for those who are interested. I’ve decided to put a computer fan in the cabinet because it’s so small and airtight. I figure it will help stop mold from growing somewhat.

Login or sign up to post a message.

So I’m officially finished with the smallest of two humidors. It is 1’ by 2’ by 2’. It has the tea on top of a cookie rack with a semi large computer fan moving air. It is nearly airtight and has 1 pound of heartfelt beads and the hygroset ii hygrometer. For anyone that is looking to do this I would highly recommend the hygroset and heartfelt beads. The hygroset ii was perfectly calibrated when it arrived and so far the beads have been keeping the humidor at exactly 70% RH every time I have checked. It is also staying at right around 69 degrees so I don’t need a heater. I’m having issues with my camera but will upload pics when I can. All that’s left is to acquire some nice teas.

Login or sign up to post a message.

I thought I should update this thread for those that are interested. Shortly after finishing the cabinet I went on a puerh buying spree and realized I would quickly run out of room. My uncle had a 3 year old, brand new, 10 cubic foot refrigerator that was DOA so it never had food in it. I got it for FREE :D I have since moved my puerh into the fridge (not turned on of course) with the computer fan and 2 lbs of humidity beads. Every couple days I fill a cast iron teapot with boiling water and place it in the fridge to raise the temperature. It stays at around 70-75% humidity and 70 degrees. When opened it has the most amazing smell I’ve experienced in my whole life. I’ll post pictures soon.

mrmopar said

like!!!

tperez said

Nice! The fridge is a pretty cool idea, bet it smells great :)

mrmopar said

finally got mine done! now to learn how to upload pics on this site.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/93298157@N02/with/8483713520/#photo8483713520

Wow that is a lot of fans and a lot of puerh. Is it all shu? And are you using the humidity beads somewhere?

Bonnie said

Mrmopar…SICK!(In a good way of course!)

mrmopar said

Check the whole picture list. Got shou in the fridge and sheng in the freezer part. The beads are in the bottom with a fan blowing up the air from on top of it. I had to kind of rig the fan up to keep it above the beads. I put the screws in the fan case and then put some craft sticks i broke into the holes with the screws in them and glued them in to keep it firm.

Bonnie said

SICK SICK SICK

What is the humidity staying at? And man that is a lot of shu.

And just a suggestion, I’ve found that it is very helpful to keep the beads in stockings to get maximum air contact and add space by being able to put them wherever you want and bend/stretch them around.

mrmopar said

humidity stays pretty stable about 65 to 70%. I guess having the fan over the beads and the double fan setup on each shelf really stabilize it and if you open the door it recovers really fast. The fans move 102cfm each and i have 6 in there so far(the one over the beads moves about 40 cfm but going to update to the 102cfm next payday).

Login or sign up to post a message.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/87738073@N05/8270217323/in/photostream
It’s pretty messy and there’s not much in it so far but I have a couple more cakes on order for christmas

Login or sign up to post a message.

mrmopar said

bump

Login or sign up to post a message.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.