Cigars need TWO things – proper, stable TEMPERATURE and proper, stable HUMIDTY.
Why is that? Cigars are a natural product, and that product can become too dry and lose their flavor and the way they will smoke will be altered. If they are subjected to too much humidity, they will be incredibly difficult to smoke.
Both short term and long term storage of your cigars should be taken seriously. You should keep your cigars in as stable of an environment as possible regardless of what you keep them in. If you’re just getting started, zip lock bags work great to store a couple of cigars, so long as you have a way to keep the humidity maintained. As you start to collect a few more cigars and you’ve outgrown the zip lock bag, it might be time to move on to a travel humidor, an airtight Tupperware type container, or maybe you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a nice wood humidor. For all of those storage options, HUMI-SMART can help. We have a page to show you which size HUMI-SMART you need based on how many cigars you are storing. The one caveat we would like to add about which size HUMI-SMART to use is that it is based on the container you are using being full of cigars. The more cigars you have in your container or humidor, the less stress your HUMI-SMART is being subjected to.
You caught the itch and decided to buy a humidor… DO NOT just throw your cigars in there. Your new humidor contains wood that is DRY!! If you place your perfectly humidified cigars in there the wood in your humidor will pull the moisture out of them in no time, rendering them dry and unsmokeable. You’ll probably be pretty upset and curse the person who sold you the humidor.
HUMI-SMART can prevent that from happening.
Seasoning your humidor is MANDATORY. Not just because we said so; ask any humidor manufacturer and they’ll tell you the same thing. Seasoning your humidor is the process of slowly adding moisture to the interior wood in your humidor. Don’t take the age old short cut of spraying it down with water, and placing a dish with water inside. That might have worked for your Grandpa, but there is a BETTER and SAFER way. When you introduce water in a rapid fashion via a spray bottle or wet rag, you run a BIG risk of the wood warping, or even worse, introducing mold if your humidor isn’t 100% Spanish Cedar. Now that we’ve prevented a potential disaster, lets talk about how to use HUMI-SMART to season your humidor. We have a 72%RH 300 gram HUMI-SMART Seasoning Kit. Wait, wait, those other guys use 84%, why are we using 72%? Your humidor should be kept between 65%RH and 72%RH. There’s no need to over humidify your humidor, because when you place your cigars in for the first time, they’ll absorb that moisture to create a symbiotic environment. Yes, you’ll add a HUMI-SMART to your humidor (or several) but then it will have to work harder when it’s not necessary. Add the 72%RH Seasoning Kit to your humidor for 14 days. After two weeks, you can remove the HUMI-SMART Seasoning Kit, add your cigars and then your preferred HUMI-SMART RH.
What RH should you use? In an airtight container or travel humidor 69% is the recommended RH. In a wood humidor for your everyday, or weekend cigars you should be using 72%. If you’re planning on aging your cigars in that humidor, or storing Cubans 65% is the recommended RH. At the beginning it was stated that temperature is also important. Temperature is responsible for preventing a lot of bad things that can happen to your cigars. Mold and beetles are two enemies of cigars. While nothing can 100% prevented, you have a great advantage when using HUMI-SMART in preventing these, so long as you don’t let the temperature of your humidor get too warm. 75°-77°F. The optimal temperature for your humidor is 70°F. If you’re aging cigars for a long period of time 62°-65°F is allowable.
What happens if my humidor gets too hot and too humid? If it’s too hot and too humid, you run the risk of mold and beetles. Cigar beetle eggs love temperatures above 75°F and humidity levels above 75%. DO NOT give them an opportunity; keep your humidor out of a warm room, direct sunlight, and make sure you’re using HUMI-SMART to keep the RH of your humidor at your preferred RH. When your humidor becomes too warm and too humid you also run the risk of mold growing on
your cigars. Remember, your cigars are a natural product, and the likelihood of there being naturally occurring mold spores on
them is real. By maintaining your humidor right around 70°F and an RH less than 72% you minimize your risk of these two bad things happening to your cigars. If your cigars are over-humidified they’ll be very hard to keep lit, and may not burn evenly. The less you have to relight your cigar, the more enjoyable it is. It’s very frustrating to have to keep relighting your cigar.
What happens if my humidity (RH) gets too low? When your cigar becomes too dry, you lose elasticity in the wrapper. When that happens, when you light your cigar and it begins to warm up, the chance your wrapper will crack is very high. Why is that? If the wrapper has lost its elasticity, it loses its ability to stretch a little as the cigar heats up. When things become warm, they expand, and when your wrapper is dry and the cigar begins to expand every so slightly as it warms from you lighting it and smoking it, your wrapper will crack. When your cigar starts to dry out, you also begin to lose flavor. A lot of the
flavor in your cigar is contained in the oils in the tobacco leaf and when the leaf begins to dry out, the oils begin to evaporate as
well. You’ll get a lot of white smoke, and not a lot of flavor. Cigars that have been exposed to excessively dry conditions for too long of a period will never get their flavor back, even if you “revive” them in a humidor and bring them back to a smokeable RH (65-72%).