Continued from Pu’er Storage Background and Research Summary – Part 1
Pu’er Storage Environment Basics (part 1 of the 2 articles written for the Moychay vendor site): The basics, informed by extensive background review for the second article, also grounded by the previous 2 + years of review and public discussion. It’s a complex subject, with some debate over finer points, but the basics aren’t that complicated. This article covers review of optimum humidity in controlled environments (the main concern), air contact / airflow issues, temperature, isolation from external scents (including separating sheng and shu), likely effect of too-dry storage over the short term, avoiding mold, and typical steps to control humidity. Rather than accept my own summary of a good indoor storage solution control range, it’s better to hear what works from a number of people who have done their own long-term experimentation, which the next article goes into.
Pu’er Storage Environment Part 2: References, Environment Maintenance: The use of supporting references enables taking the concerns a little further. I’ve not run across research content on pu’er storage in the form of academic material because it’s just not that kind of subject: More an isolated practical concern among a very narrow interest group. To compensate for that subject specialist, blog input was used here. Sources vary in relation to how much personal experience each author and source drew on, with two cases based on experimental results instead (in duplicating commercial salt-pack control devices, and experimenting on temperature as an input to storage effect). The subject of optimum level of controlled humidity was reviewed from most if not all sources. One recurring theme is that it’s not possible to look at weather-climate graphs and try to duplicate that in indoor storage environments, for different reasons. This Yunnan sourcing vendor take by Scott Wilson covers a range of background issues about that well, a reference I don’t think I cite in any of the articles. One point he made stuck with me, one that doesn’t tend to come up in discussion much: Rather than trying to seal and closely control humidity in a very small storage space, it might work for some to keep their living-space humidity comfortable for people; which could also work out for sheng fermentation purposes as well. There would be limits to that approach working out — depending on local factors and specific goals and preferences — but taking on related points of view from informed sources definitely helps.
To be concluded in tomorrow’s post Pu’er Storage Background and Research Summary – Part 3
Image “Hong Kong annual climate summaries” provided by author