Have you visited any humidor cigar shop lately? If we have already bought cigars from a famous cigar shop in the Caribbean, we know that they are usually on shelves, with no cigar humidor or humidifier insight.
Why a cigar humidor
The humidity inside the humidor is usually recommended to be between 68% and 75%, although small fluctuations are allowed.
Tobacco leaves must be damp to roll properly. Humidity is usually 20%, but it is low when storing cigars. So that the cigars do not dry out, they must keep 12-14% by weight in water. To achieve this, it is advisable to store them at 16-26C.
By using a humidifier proper for the cigar humidor, the humidity of the cigar should stabilize within a few days inside the humidor.
Hobbyists often store cigars at a somewhat lower humidity level, with only 65% humidity, and if they store cigars long-term, the humidity level they use is 60%. Expert cigar smokers should compare the aroma of their cigars when storing them at different humidity levels, as the aroma varies depending on the moisture contained in the cigar. Electronic Humidification Systems can modify the humidity level inside the cigar humidor to our liking.
How do I set up the cigar humidor?
The first thing is to clean the interior walls and shelves with a clean cloth. Spanish cedar absorbs moisture, so wiping the wood prevents the dry wood in the internal panels from absorbing cigars. It is highly recommended to use distilled water in everything related to the humidor to prevent lime scale from forming on the surface of the wood.
Afterward, the humidifier must be filled with distilled water or a special solution. Once this is done, the humidifier is placed inside the humidor, and the lid is closed.
An Electronic Humidification System speeds up the humidification process at first, as it will continue to operate until the desired humidity level is reached.
Conventional Humidification Systems may take several days to reach the Required Humidity Level. To speed up this initial process, glass or plate of distilled water can be placed inside the humidor until the humidity level has been reached and the internal walls have absorbed enough moisture. This is very useful in large humidors. Once all this is done, it is necessary to calibrate the Hygrometer.
What to do to avoid mold in the humidor?
Like tobacco beetles, mold represents one of the most dangerous factors for cigars. But don’t worry! It could simply be due to the aging of the cigar.
With the aging of the cigar, you can see a protein compound that many people may mistake for mold, but that is completely harmless, and that can be removed from the packaging with just a brush. However, it can indicate that there is too much humidity in the environment. Mold will be the next phase if the humidity is not lowered.
How do you recognize mold?
Everyone has ever seen mold on bread. Tobacco mold is very similar, with a grayish-green color, covered with hair that is partially removed with a brush but leaves a stain. Mold can also affect the humidor walls in the long run. If there is a cigar with mold inside the cigar humidor, it has a rather characteristic smell.
When does mold appear?
If there is mold on cigars, it means that the humidity level inside the humidor has probably been above 80% for several weeks. If this has not happened, it is probably due to the maturation process of the cigar.
What do we do with mold?
If we have seen that there is mold, we need to check each cigar and, unfortunately, throw away those affected cigars. Cigars that appear to be fine should be checked the next time we open the humidor. Although the mold has not affected the wood of the humidor at first glance, we must clean it very well with a dry cloth to remove any spores. To remove any remaining mold, we can use a hairdryer. The spores will die if they reach a temperature higher than 50C.
For good quality humidors, we can sandpaper the walls.
Whether it is made of sponge or acrylic polymers, active system, we should open the humidifier and clean it carefully. If the sponge is affected, we must throw it away and change it for another. In our store, you can buy replacement acrylic polymer sponges. Even if we don’t find any obvious signs that the humidifier is affected, we strongly recommend changing the humidifier agent (sponge, etc.) to minimize the risk of another outbreak and clean the entire humidification system.
How can I fix the cause?
Typically, the humidification system is the culprit. It may be too big for the humidor, or the cigars have been stored too close. We can consider a humidification system adapted to the size of the humidor and the number of cigars inside. Ideally, it should be an electronic humidification system that provides us with more precise humidity control and the proper air ventilation.
Why use only distilled water to humidify the humidor?
Distilled water contains fewer germs. And what’s more, distilled water does not contain lime, quite the opposite of tap water, depending on the area. Tap water can leave permanent lime deposits on the inside walls of the cigar humidor and humidifier, especially in the pores of the humidification system sponge.
What is a travel humidor?
Travel humidors are the perfect solution to take our precious cigars anywhere. They work in the same way as classic humidors. Before buying one, it is advisable to decide the number of cigars we want to carry and the duration of the journey. For trips during the day, Metal Tubes are usually sufficient. However, a Travel Humidor may be a better option for weekends or vacations.
Like the well-known cigar Caddy, travel humidors are immune to shocks and protect cigars very well. However, it is best if a travel cigar humidor has Spanish cedar wood inside.