There are two types of cigar smokers, a casual smoker, and an aficionado. The latter might know everything about improving the quality of a cigar. Even as a casual smoker, you need to know the difference between a rapid, uneven burn and an enjoyable experience.
Keeping your cigars fresh necessitates for you to understand everything about cigars storage. That is, all the measures you have to undertake to maintain the ideal moisture levels for your cigars. In case you don’t have an idea as to what you should do, these tips will help you know how and where you can improve.
- Part 1: What is the best humidity and temperature for cigars?
- Part 2: Why do you need a hygrometer for your cigar?
- Part 3: Where does a hygrometer go in a humidor?
- Part 4. How often should you calibrate your hygrometer for cigars?
- Part 5. Final take
What is the best humidity and temperature for cigars?
After leaving the factory, most handmade cigars will have 12 to 15% moisture. Therefore, you should check the cigar temperature and humidity chart and work towards maintaining the same moisture level to preserve their flavor. Storing the cigars in humidors can aid in maintaining the moisture and flavor.
A cigar can be rehydrated; however, this will only replace the moisture but not the flavor. Cigars will dry out if they don’t have a steady supply of humidity. By gently squeezing the cigar with your fingers, you can know if it’s dry or not. A dry cigar will crackle under slight pressure.
You can’t rush the rehydrating process. It’s gradual, and if you inundate the cigar with too much moisture, they can bulge and crack. To avoid such occurrences, you need to introduce low levels of humidity. You can achieve this using a zip lock bag or a humidor.
Exposing the cigars to humidity levels of below 60% should be the starting point. After this, you can gradually increase the humidity for weeks. You can smoke the cigars after you’re certain that they have between 62 to 65% humidity.
Another option is continuing to rehydrate the cigars until they’re at 70% RH. For the premium cigars, you should consider going up to 72%. You should also note the condition of the cigars during purchase. It assists you in knowing whether they have the correct moisture levels during the rehydration process.
Pressing them slightly during purchase and after rehydrating will assist in knowing whether you succeeded. The correct moisture balance is crucial to ensuring that the cigars will not have any mold. Too moist cigars will not burn evenly. When purchasing cigars, don’t believe that the softer cigars are fresher.
For some cigar aficionados, a lower temperature of around 60% RH will be the optimal condition. These temperatures will maintain some consistency within the humidor. If there is too much fluctuation, it’ll be bad for the cigars since they can become too moist or too dry.
Why do you need a hygrometer for your cigar?
Humidity plays an important role in preserving your cigars. You should therefore maintain the ideal humidity within the cigars using a hygrometer. It guarantees that they won’t be dried out. A dry cigar will burn fast and taste bitter.
Most of the best cigars are hygroscopic. They will absorb moisture depending on their storage locations. If you store them in a place that isn’t humid, they will lose their moisture. There are different types of hygrometers, all of which will monitor your cigars’ moisture levels.
If you have to choose between mechanical or digital, you should go for digital since it can have better accuracy. However, mechanical hygrometers will look great. All these hygrometers will work perfectly, however, not all of them will work as you’d like off the shelf.
Calibration is a key step before using a hygrometer. Proper calibration means that your hygrometer will monitor the cigars storage temperature in your humidor and provide you with timely notifications. During cigars storage, you need to find a humidor that will be efficient and a hygrometer, which will provide accurate readings.
Before purchasing a hygrometer for cigar humidor, you should check for some of the best solutions. Here are a few:
- Digital Hygrometer – Besides its low price, this hygrometer has a humidity sensor that can indicate all the changes within the humidor. This is a good cigar humidor hygrometer with a +/- 1-degree Fahrenheit and +/- 2% RH.
- Analog Hygrometer – With a +/- 1% rating, this kind of hygrometer is one of the best options. Besides its aesthetic appeal, the hygrometer is made from aluminum. This means that its corrosion and rust-resistant. It also has a magnetic mounting option, which will assist you in keeping the hygrometer in place. When you detect a change in your cigars’ flavor, you can easily recalibrate the hygrometer for accurate readings.
- Wireless Hygrometer – Being one of the best digital hygrometers, it has an easy setup process, and it allows you to pair it with your phone. It also has a great line of sight range, thus ensuring that you can monitor the humidor at all times.
Where does a hygrometer go in a humidor?
A humidor is a storage container that controls airflow. The humidor is perfect for storing cigars as it can maintain the desired humidity. Besides, coupled with a hygrometer, the humidor can ensure that all your cigars maintain the flavor and freshness.
A humidor isn’t an airtight container. You should avoid airtight places since the cigars will become moldy. That’s why a humidor has to circulate air. It should be spacious to provide all your cigars with ample space for air circulation. This also negates squishing the cigars together.
When measuring the performance of a humidor, you will have to check the condition of the cigars. They should exude a little oil. The hygrometer will be crucial to indicate the internal humidity levels in a humidor. However, even if they are correct, this will not indicate the condition of the cigars.
Manually checking these cigars can allow you to ensure that they’re always in their top-notch condition. As for the placement of the hygrometer, you should consider placing it in the lid. It maximizes the distance between it and the cigars while measuring the humidity within the humidor.
Damp air will always rise to the top compared to dry air. The hygrometer placement should be at the lid to ensure that it properly measures the relative humidity within the humidor. For a humidor with no tray, the cover should be cedarwood to allow the humid air’s expulsion easily.
If your humidor has a tray, it might be hard to know whether the design is faulty. To have the most accurate relative humidity measurements, you should consider attaining two hygrometers. The placement of these hygrometers should be one in the lid and another at the bottom.
Remember that these will only increase the efficiency of the humidor by ensuring that you attain precise measurements. Also, they can assist you in knowing whether there is proper circulation of air within the humidor. After this, you can know whether you can remove one hygrometer or not.
How often should you calibrate your hygrometer for cigars?
When you purchase a hygrometer, calibration is crucial to measure the humidity levels accurately. With analog hygrometers, you have to understand that they have a tolerance of +/- 5% within the ranges between 40 and 80%.
Some brands might claim to have set the humidity gauges from the factory. However, you can find some which were not well set. Therefore, to avoid all the hassles of incorrect readings, you should consider using a simple, homemade method.
All you need is a zip lock bag, some salt, and a bottle cap. Below is a guide of how you should proceed with the calibration:
- Place the salt in a teaspoon using the bottle cap.
- Add a few drops of water to the salt to make it moist or damp. Adding water to the salt ensures that it can retain 75% of humidity.
- Place the hygrometer and the salt in the zip lock bag. Avoid getting the salt on the hygrometer.
- Seal the bag tightly and wait for stabilization.
Don’t squeeze out the air in the bag to guarantee that you will get some accurate readings. The stabilization might take up to six hours. All hygrometers will have percentage gauges where you will read the moisture levels from.
After stabilization, you should take a reading, and the hygrometer should indicate 75%. If the hygrometer doesn’t show 75%, you should note the deviation to understand how to take readings in the future. For example, if it shows 85%, note that it’s 10% higher, and if it shows 70%, note that it’s 5% lower.
After you get the readings, you should remove the hygrometer from the bag to complete the calibration. In case there was a deviation, most hygrometers will have a screw where you can make adjustments. Using a screwdriver when watching the dial will assist you in setting the percentage correctly.
Upon completion of the calibration, the hygrometer can provide you with accurate readings or measurements. In return, it’s easier to maintain a healthier environment for all your cigars. In case the gauge doesn’t move, you should try blowing some air into the back of the hygrometer.
After understanding how to store cigars and everything you need to do to maintain their flavor and freshness, you’ll never have a bad experience again. All you need to look for is the best cigars, a good humidor, and the best hygrometer. Good, quality cigars will be easy to maintain, unlike the poor-quality ones.
A good humidor means that you can have some peace of mind when you store the cigars. And lastly, the hygrometer will help you get the best readings for the moisture levels in the humidor. ThermoPro Hygrometers will be amongst the best solutions for all your cigar storage needs.