For those who have been following, I’ve doubled-down and made it an objective to ruin perfectly-good tea. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, go check out part one.
Since dropping my primary pumidor down to 25C/65%rh, I’ve built a secondary unit purely as an exercise in figuring out what invites mold, what inhibits it, and what if anything can be done to get rid of it.
That unit was set at 32C/75%rh and populated with some loose-leaf teas, three XG tuos (one bare and raised on stilts, one wrapped, and one boxed/wrapped), and the lightly-affected cake from the previous post, also raised on stilts.
Within a week, mold reappeared all over the cake. I’d hoped that unrestricted exposure to the air in the pumidor would inhibit mold growth, but no such luck.
At the two-week mark, mold was moderately present on the loose-leaf sitting in a cardboard box and wrapped tuo, and barely-present on the boxed tuo. Interestingly the exposed tuo and the plastic-boxed loose-leaf tea were completely unaffected, and all the loose-leaf mold was on the bottom layer where it contacted the cardboard box. I wonder whether the cardboard somehow absorbs more moisture in a way that affects the nearby tea, but I can’t think of a good explanation as to how it would. I’m personally inclined to avoid cardboard and non-cotton paper where possible.
Having learned all I can there, it’s time to add airflow to the mix, in the form of a beefy laptop cooling fan.
The wrapped tuo has been exposed in the same manner as the other, the boxed tuo and molded cake are sitting pretty under vacuum with current mold areas marked (to allow me to observe further growth). I’ve also ordered some 3% peroxide, for what will either be the smartest or dumbest ploy in storage history. Stay tuned.