How do I maintain proper humidity?

Hi! I recently purchased an 18 bottle wine fridge to store some wines >5 years. I read that the ideal humidity to store the wine was 70% (>50% at a minimum), so I got a hygrometer. The humidity inside the fridge is ~45% with my apartment at ~25% (it gets dry in the winter). What’s the best way for me to increase the humidity inside the cooler considering the limited space I have in it? So far I have seen the following options 1) Place a wet towel or sponge in it 2) Use a Humidor Packet (e.g. Boveda) 3) Use a humidifier in the room

Hi Pazanov
Welcome! :slight_smile:
I would say ‘whatever fits easily in the fridge and is easy to top up (say) every week’. That might be simply a small bowl of water. Whilst the wet towel idea is a good one for effective humidifying, in such an enclosed space, I’d be concerned about creating a musty smell inside the fridge. I think this ‘wet wick towel’ idea is more suitable for a large cellar.

I will be interested in what others say though



I’m close to giving up on even trying to maintain humidity. I’ve been using either a cup of water or a wet sponge, but it takes days to evaporate, and you lose all that moisture if you open the fridge for even a moment. I’ve read some experts argue that the wine underneath the cork maintains sufficient humidity anyway and that dry conditions don’t really cause harm. Curious if anyone has first hand experience with this—could it be a myth that humidity must remain above 50%? Especially if we’re only aging for a few years, maybe up to 10 years?

Just wanted to post an update:

The first method I tried was the wet sponge. The moment I put the sponge in the humidity shot up to >75%. Taking the sponge out (and opening the door to do so) decreased the humidity, but not back to the starting point. Once the door was closed again, the humidity shot up, and then after some time decreased linearly. I think this is due to left over condensate. Ultimately, I find this method unrealistic for me to maintain long term. I don’t think the swings in humidity would impact the wine on a short term, but provides challenges in maintaining it long term.

I ordered a Boveda (69%) humidity control pack, and so far it is regulating humidity as advertised. I also like this option because it should also decrease the humidity when it gets high in the summer. I’m curious how it will work out in practice and how long it lasts. Right now its taking up the space of two wine bottles, so I am wondering if anyone has experience with the different sizes, how well the sizes worked and how long they lasted.

I’ve only used them for cigars. Looks like they have changed quite a bit since I saw them. For cigars (at room temp) you wouldn’t need a ton of it to maintain humidity. Likely fairly different in a fridge though. Still my guess is you can get by with way less - I would think something like half the size of a wine bottle would take care of it. If you want to use the same basic approach and take up less space, you can get beads (think smaller than a pea) and put them in whatever container you want. Or any number of options that come in a container that might be shaped differently than what you have - just google humidity beads.

Not to dissuade you in your quest for higher humidity but from a practical point of view I would not worry about humidity. I have had a passive cellar with low humidity for over 25 years and have observed no ill effects of low humidity. Especially if you plan to drink the wine in 5 years or less.

With 18 bottles unless you are holding them for years, humidity is not an issue. Temperature is.

I agree. The qualitative difference of a bottle at 45% humidity vs. 60% has to be completely miniscule…

How important is humidity over the long term? I have a 200 bottle fridge. Most wines I will probably drink within 5 years but there are a handful of bottles I plan on aging decades

My goal in my mostly passive cellar (central ac helps in summer) is to maintain humidity above 60%. Most of the year I don’t need to do anything but the coldest days I’ll use an evaporative cooler to add humidity. I’m pretty comfortable with my cellar conditions for even high dollar bottles now; temps average 54 and humidity averages 68%.

We have super dry air up north, without a humidifier my passive cellar would easily be 35%. Insulated this fall and bottom averages 53F and top around 56F for the winter. Summer I’ll open a vent for A/C and I’m guessing it’ll be 56-60F but still fairly dry.

Tried the towel technique and it got to 45% but its annoying and my wife hated stepping around it. I bought a portable humidifier on amazon and set it at 80%. I trust my sensor push and it reads 70% bottom and 60% top of cellar. Works like a charm and I fill it every couple weeks.

Where did you read that?
A simple Google search will turn up anything from “doesn’t matter” to 80+%.
I am unable to find any studies where humidity was manipulated as an independent experimental variable and correlated with wine quality, either by sensory or laboratory criteria.
I do find studies that correlate higher humidity with mold growth.
For now, this appears to be something that dwells squarely in the myth/legend category.

1 Like

Placing a pan of water would help,

But i strongly suggest you to get a better quality fridge since they are able to maintain the humidity ranging from 50% - 65%.

If you’re not planning to bottle age your wine, humidity isn’t a big problem.

Do some calculations on what kind of bottle are you going to store. Let’s say if you’re storing some expensive wines it would be worth to buy a good storage