There are some very basic rules of thumb when it comes to smoking cigars. In the world of cigar collectors, one of the general rules of thumb is the 70/70 rule. The idea behind this rule is that when you are storing your cigar collection, you should keep it at 70 percent humidity and around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, many people will spend a huge amount of time talking about the issue of humidity, and discussing the right measurement and source of humidification.
Nonetheless, cigar aficionados will often skip the issue of temperature. Before you start discussing how the humidity impacts the cigar, you have to think of the temperature as well. At the end of the day, the humidity has an effect on the flavor notes of the cigar, while the temperature has a direct impact on humidity.
As you can see, the temperature may not have a direct impact on humidity, but it can have an indirect impact on humidity. A cigar that is too hot or too cold will show a different display on humidity and also vary in flavor. This is something that cigar smokers do not think about, and needs close attention.
Temperature’s Impact on Humidity
Extreme hot temperatures can cause a huge jump in humidity, and it can help you go from extreme cold to extreme heat in a few seconds. This is why you should refrain from storing your cigar in refrigerators. Because after you take the cigar out from the refrigerator and expose it to the surrounding air, you can expect the moisture level in the cigar to rise, causing it to lose it’s unique flavor.
You, a cigar enthusiast have to therefore make sure that your cigar is not only sitting in the right humidity, but also at a good temperature. This can be difficult to do during the summers because the air conditioning bill would skyrocket. For this reason, summer cigar care 101 would be keep your sticks away from direct sunlight. UV ray exposure can destroy the cigars and also impact them greatly.
A quick and easy solution to cigar temperature issues would be to get a temperature controlled humidors. The best humidors allow you to preserve your cigar collection in the best ways possible and store them so they retain their flavor. Ultimately, cigar humidors are key tools when it comes to storing cigars.
It is critical to store your cigars properly. Unless you are buying your cigars individually and smoking them immediately, you need to make storage arrangements so that you can enjoy the cigars without ruining them. However, storing premium and fine grade cigars so that they do not face temperature and humidity damage can be tough, especially if you are smoking an exclusive Cuban.
Cuban Cigars can sometimes come with a unique tobacco grain that may react differently to moisture levels depending on your geography and elevation. Both, high humidity and low humidity can be detrimental to the quality of the tobacco. A cigar’s tobacco grain acts like a sponge in front of the surrounding moisture. The tobacco needs to have the right level of moisture to retain it’s texture. If there is too little moisture, then the tobacco will dry out, and if there is too much moisture, the tobacco will become spongy.
When testing out a cigar, if pressing it down is resulting in a cracking sound, then this means that the cigar is dry due to low moisture. On the other hand, if the cigar is spongy to the touch, then it has undergone too much moisture. You want to aim the cigar at about 62% and 72%, and if you store the cigar at humidity that is below the 62% mark, will result in the tobacco leaves trying out.
Not only will this cause the oils inside the cigar to leave, but it will also lead to the cigar leaf wrapper to crack. This makes it impossible for you to smoke the cigar. Even if the cigar wrapper has not cracked, the tobacco will burn hotter since it is still dry. This will result in an inadequate flavor profile when you light it up. A dry cigar burns faster and smokes faster, which is not ideal, especially if you are smoking a cigar with a complex flavor profile such as a Nicaraguan.
Too much humidity can also lead to the development of mold. If there are white deposits on the cigar as it ages, this can be sign of mold. When this happens, the dexterity of the cigar is lost, and there is absolutely no way you can recover the cigar. You will have to throw them away since that will be the only options.
Mold vs Plume issues invoke plenty of rage in the cigar world. Many people will post pictures of their cigar collection online, asking whether the fungal growth on their cigar is mold or plume. Some people believe that there is a substance called plume that grows on a cigar.
This is supposed to be the sugars inside the wrapper leaves rising to the top and crystallizing. Many people think of this growth as a positive sign, however, this is only to the disarray of people that believe all growth on a cigar is harmful mold.
This topic may never get resolved due to the various people’s opinions involved in the topic. Nonetheless, the issue of mold vs plume is one that comes down to evidence. Despite all the studies, there is still nothing conclusive to be said.
Personal Humidity Preferences
Between the safe range of 62 to 72 percent, the percentage is a matter of personal preference. This means that some cigars can slightly age better when you keep them on the lower levels of humidity. Higher humidity levels can cater to people that like their cigars slightly wetter when they take the drag. Some people will bring their cigars to a different humidity right before smoking them.
Temperature is also critical especially for high-end cigars such as a Cohiba. If the temperature crosses the 80 degrees Fahrenheit limit, or gets to approximately 26 degrees Celsius, then you can expect Tobacco Beetles to hatch. They are insects that can eat right through the cigar, and identifying this problem will require you to look for holes inside the cigar.
If you keep the cigars at high temperatures without proper air conditioning, the ambient temperature indoors can rise above 80 degrees, causing tobacco beetles to grow inside the cigar. These critters can eat through the entire collection. This is why your primary goal should be to keep the surrounding temperatures below 70 degrees, and never above 80 degrees.
Overall, any temperature range between 60 to 70 degrees is very acceptable. Like mentioned before, temperature can drive up the relative humidity.
Choosing Humidors and Setting Temperature
If you crank down the temperature of the humidor, you can see the relative humidity inside the humidor to rise. For this reason, you must be careful of keeping the temperature inside the humidor at a certain range. You also want to take this into account when choosing a humidor for yourself.
When picking out the right humidor, you will come across a huge range. Choosing the right humidor will require you to look at certain factors. The first factor involves the ease of use, while the second involves the amount cigars that you are looking to store, and the third will be the budget.
There is no limit to the number of options when it comes to how you will store your cigars. One good alternative to humidors include Boveda bags. This bag transformed cigar storage and aging by making it incredibly easy. Controlling your humidity is very difficult, but Boveda has simplified that with the help of their Two-way pouch creation.
Not only does the pouch add humidity, but it also removes it from the environment. Therefore, it prevents the humidity from being too low, but also too high. This is why these bags are great alternatives to humidors. They are also sealed and do a better job of controlling and leaking the humidity.
However, you have to make sure that the bag is in an environment where the temperature is not too hot. Only at room temperature will the Boveda bags serve as a good solution. You can store a total of 20 cigars in this bag without having to invest in pricey equipment. Another benefit of these bags is that they are available in various sizes as well.
There are endless options and methods when it comes to how you store your cigars. However, having a humidor allows you the option of temperature control which can suit all different types of cigars. Most people that are storing their cigars without the ability to regulate temperature may be taking a risk. Overall, temperature can play a critical role in the condition of your cigar since it impacts the surrounding humidity.