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Reply to "Extremely low basement humidity"

I've never worried about humidity here in Chicago where it is very humid in the summer and very dry in the winter.  I always just went with the fact that a cork that is wet from the inside (wine) is good enough.  I think at normal humidity levels that is most likely true.

However, I spend a lot of time in Colorado and I know that dryness there is an entirely different thing!  In Colorado I would be concerned about a lot of ullage as I suspect the humidity gradient between inside and outside of the bottle is enough to cause problems over time.  I think some sort of passive humidification is probably fine, like you suggest- a bucket of water or a big pan.  An active humidifier would probably be even better, but who wants to add water to their wine cellar every day?  If I was building a cellar in CO I would consider using loose rocks (like pea gravel or small river rocks) as the flooring and just dousing it in water every so often.  The wet rocks have a large surface area and will allow for evaporation pretty readily.  I know that mold is really not a concern in CO, which is quite different for those of us from wet parts of the world.

Good luck!

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