Cigar Humidification: An In-Depth Guide to Perfectly Flavorful Cigars
You eagerly grab a cigar and with great expectations prepare yourself to unwind from your long day. But then you hear the one sound that is unwanted to hear from a cigar: a slight crunch !
Cigars are becoming increasingly popular to enjoy, especially among people searching for a different relaxing experience, is also becoming very present during social gatherings and for celebrations. However, you must handle them with care so their great flavors come out. Fortunately, that's where cigar humidification comes into play.
Here's a rundown on cigar humidification works and why it's the key to perfectly flavorful cigars.
Let's get started!
What Is Cigar Humidification?
Humidification is the process of maintaining the right humidity levels for your cigars by placing them in a box called a humidor (more on this coming up). This is important because the right humidity will allow a cigar to age, which will ultimately enhance its flavor.
Cigars are a lot like wine, as they improve with age. However, this will happen only if the conditions are right.
Some aficionados prefer to age their cigars for three to five years before they smoke them so that they can maximize the flavor. However, they can be enjoyed at any time as long as their environment isn't too moist or too dry.
What Are Cigar Humidors?
Humidors are humidity-controlled boxes used to store cigars and other tobacco products.
The tobacco used in cigars grows in tropical areas like Honduras. These areas generally feature high humidity and temperature levels. Humidors duplicate this type of environment so that cigars stay fresh and full of flavor.
If you don't put your cigars in a humidor, they can easily dry out. This will cause them to lose their flavorful oils.
In addition, your cigars will have burning problems in this situation. For instance, your cigars may smoke too hot and too quickly or it will crack in different places.
Your cigars could also become damp if they are left in too humid of an environment. This will make drawing smoke through your cigars harder. It can also impact the burning process, therefore causing excess smoke.
A Humidor's Parts
A humidor features multiple parts including its inner wood lining. This wood may be Honduran mahogany, red cedar, or Spanish cedar.
The Spanish cedar lining stands out for its ability to absorb high levels of humidity. This keeps the humidor's environment stable so that mold doesn't develop. This wood's scent also positively impacts cigars' flavor.
The red cedar lining offers the benefit of being easier to find and less expensive than the Spanish cedar lining. Although it is inferior to the Spanish cedar lining, it will also import a strong woody flavor onto your cigars.
Honduran mahogany liners absorb humidity at the same rate than Spanish cedar liners do. However, Honduran mahogany's odor is less intense. Some cigar aficionados prefer the flavoring of the Spanish cedar lining instead.
Note that veneer humidors are also available. They can be just as effective for maintaining flavorful cigars.
When looking for a humidor, make sure that the one you choose has durable hinges so that they can stand the test of time. In addition, the humidor's lacquer should have been applied evenly and smoothly.
Finally, your chosen humidor should feature an airtight seal. This will help with maintaining a constant internal humidity level.
What Is a Hygrometer?
In addition to investing in a humidor, you'll need to use a hygrometer as part of the cigar humidification process.
Hygrometers are devices that allow you to track humidors' humidity levels. In other words, your hygrometer will let you know if your humidor is working properly.
As a general rule of thumb, your humidor's environment should be around 65 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and feature 65% to 75% humidity. This is particularly important for keeping your cigars in the best condition during the dry and cold winter months.
If the temperature and humidity levels are too high, you may notice mold issues with your cigars. Meanwhile, you can tell that the humidity is low if the wrappers on your cigars look flaky or are peeling off. In this situation, your cigars might also look brittle.
Controlling Your Humidor's Humidity to Maintain the Best Cigar Flavor
Multiple methods can be used to control the level of humidity in your humidor, including the two-way Boveda humidification system.
With this system, you would place Boveda packs in your humidor. These humidity packs absorb humidity when your humidor has too much humidity. Likewise, they will increase the humidity level when not enough humidity is present.
Note that most Humidor makers are creating their cigar humidors to use the two-way Boveda humidification system.
Additional Humidity Control Options
Another option is to soak a "hockey puck" device in a liquid called propylene glycol and keep it in your humidor to control the humidity. This device usually comes with a humidor.
Electric humidifiers can also be handy for humidifying a large collection of cigars.
These devices' cartridges simply need to be replaced once or twice a year. Otherwise, they don't require much maintenance or attention. You'll just set your electric humidifier up and allow it to do its job.
How We Can Help You to Find Fresh Cigars
Cigar humidification can help you to achieve perfectly flavorful cigars by maintaining the right humidity and temperature in your cigars' humidor. Using a hygrometer can assist you in controlling the humidor's humidity year-round.
At Cuenca Cigars, Inc., we take pride in offering only the highest quality handmade cigars. If you're searching for hard-to-find or rare cigars, you can find what you're looking for in our online shop.
Cuenca's also carries a very sophisticated collections of humidor and a constant bailable inventory of Bóveda product line.
Go ahead and get in touch with us, online by phone or visit us if you are in the area, and learn more about, the magical world of cigars, do it today!