If you have ever smoked a quality hand-rolled cigar that was drying out, you will understand the crucial role humidity plays in the preservation of the cigar. In terms of humidity, it is crucial to keep your cigars at the ideal dryness levels.
Knowing your humidor’s temperature and humidity is important to keeping cigars ready for smoking and smoking well, as long as you store them. Cigars should stay in your humidor until ready to be smoked. Handmade cigars must maintain a similar humidity level in order to retain the flavour intended.
Even high-quality cigars can easily lose moisture if the humidity is not adequate, or if they are left outside of a cigar box. Damp cigars are caused when you store or expose a cigar to too much humidity, typically anything over 70%-72%, and this is when a cigar starts absorbing the moisture instead of losing it to the surrounding air. A humid cigar also produces significantly more smoke than a cigar that is properly moist.
When cigars get wet, the remaining tobacco puffs up, making them harder to draw smoke from. Your cigars will age differently if you keep the cellophane on when placing the cigars in the humidor (many people remove it). If your humidor is not sealed properly, moisture will escape, drying your cigars.
Not only are your cigars in danger of drying out, but the wood in the humidor could also suffer, leading it to shrink, and potentially lose the seal. Seasoning a humidor keeps the wood from pulling the moisture from your cigars. Not all humidors are designed to keep a lid on the temperature that your cigars are exposed to, and this is a potential issue.
Quality cigar humidors will keep your cigars at just the right level of humidity needed to maintain their freshness. The longer you keep a humidor properly seasoned and manage moisture levels, the more consistent the environment. Over-humidification is your biggest risk in the summer months, but you can be assured of that by monitoring your humidor and its humidity levels on a regular basis.
When the humidity changes drastically, be sure you know what is happening with your humidor and the surrounding environment so that you can still keep your cigars healthy and protected. Aggressive fluctuations in humidity during the season can be a shock to your humidity gauge and can drive the components of your humidor to the limits of moisture. It is also important to note that as temperatures rise, the relative humidity is likely to rise since warmer air is capable of holding more moisture.
Higher levels of humidity may cause your cigars to become too humid for smoking, and may also encourage mould growth. There are two risks associated with storing cigars in the warm, wet months of summer: humidity levels and temperature. Well, in terms of causes, cigars can be affected by anything, from humidity levels to temperature.
Humidity is another issue; too little, and your cigars dry and shorten, and will eventually break down — too much, and your cigars do not keep lit, and you will end up running the risk of mould. Keep smaller cigar boxes out of direct sunlight, since that will raise temperatures more quickly and cause cigars to dry out. Temperature is the hardest thing to keep an eye on with smaller humidors as usually, they are not equipped with temperature-control devices, so you will have to take extra care in order to keep your cigars best.
When you do not own a humidor, there are plenty of alternative environments where you can store cigars, provided that you are able to close it up once the source of humidity is introduced. Where you keep your cigars matters — you want to avoid exposing them to the sun through windows or doors, as that will warm the interior of the humidor and damage your cigars. Your humidor will give your cigars their own distinct flavour, depending on which cigars you previously stored inside.
Leaving your cigars in their boxes and placing the whole box inside your humidor will also alter how the cigars will taste when they are ripe. Properly aging a humidor will also call for them to be aged prior to you introducing your cigars. Note: Be sure to NOT over-humidify a humidor hoping to revive cigars faster, because doing so can shock them to expand too fast, leading to cracking wrappers and making them unsmokable.
Humidification will allow air to circulate throughout the interior of your humidor, keeping your cigars moistened more evenly. With the 2-way Moisture Control from Bovedas on the inside of the Humidor, you do not actually have to swirl the premium cigars. It brings low levels of humidity into your cigars, both in the humidor and the zippered pouch.
When you are sure that your cigars have been exposed to 62%-65% humidity for a long time, you are ready to smoke. With this, hopefully, you will now be able to perfectly store and smoke your cigars, regardless of weather, temperature, or humidity. For any and all mail-order cigars, we always advise that they rest in the humidor for several days, at least, before smoking, so the tobacco can get used to new weather conditions.
Slightly lower temperatures and humidity levels, around the mid-to-low 60s, are the ideal cigar-storage conditions for many aficionados. Choose a suitable humidification source, and subject the cigars to 50% humidity levels or lower. Seasoning your humidor means getting the interior of it up to the perfect humidity levels, creating a balanced, ideal ecosystem inside your storage container, prior to putting in your cigars.
This helps keep moisture in, while not making your cigars vulnerable to any extreme weather conditions. A cigar humidor is a tool to help keep your cigars safe from corrosive humidity levels outdoors, but without monitoring, it may crack under stress and struggle to keep that Goldilocks-like Relative Humidity (RH) perfect for cigars.