06 August 2015
Cigar Tips: Cigar Humidor & How to Test and Use It
When you first get into cigars, just like when you start anything else that is new to you, you will often do lots of research and be left with many different answers and confused by what is true or not.
When it comes to cigars and humidors, you may find some say 70/70 (humidity/temperature) is the ideal way to store your cigars. However, depending on how long you are storing cigars you may find a slightly lower humidity (62-65%) is better, particularly for long term aging.
Anywhere between 62-70% humidity is generally fine and this equates to 12-14% of the cigar’s total weight in moisture, but it often comes down to personal preference if you like your cigars a little drier. If you opt for a lower value, your cigars would be expected to burn easily but possibly a bit quicker and hot.
The first step however to setting up a proper humidity is to make sure your hygrometer is properly calibrated, especially for the inexpensive ones that may not be as reliable as the dearer ones. These typically come with most humidors, but for this you might want to use the salt calibration test:
You will need a few basic items:
- Distilled Water
- Coffee Stirrer (or any other thin clean object to stir with)
- Bottle Cap
- Empty Wide-Mouth Jar with a Lid (pasta sauce or mayonnaise jar works just fine).
- Tablespoon of Plain Table Salt
- Your Hygrometer
Step 1: Place the salt within the bottle cap and slowly add the distilled water to the salt, whilst stirring with the coffee stirrer. Only add enough water so that the salt becomes a thick paste, not enough to dissolve the salt.
Step 2: Place the bottle cap with the salt/water mixture gently into your jar and add your hygrometer. Make sure the sensor is exposed and is not blocked by the sides of the jar. Seal the jar so there are no leaks, put in a place out of direct sunlight and with a stable, cool temperature.
Step 3: Leave this undisturbed for a minimum of eight hours. After this, check the reading on the hygrometer through the glass jar. It should read on or near 75% relative humidity.
There you have it, you very own tester to ensure your humidity percentage is correct. Eventually you may get to the stage where you don’t require a hygrometer, as you become familiar with the feel and the way your cigars are smoking to know when it’s time to add a little more distilled water or humidor solution.