Cigar Humidification Tip #1

March 30, 2011 · Posted in Cigar 101, Cigar Accessories, Humidors 

The other night one of the gentlemen I was smoking cigars with asked me what he should do about this (Cuban) Cohiba he had. To my horror, the Cohiba has not been properly humidified in a couple of months. This, I told him, was a problem and it is a problem for many people who smoke cigars infrequently. Letting a cigar dry out leads to cracking of the leaves, the cigar smoking too quick, harsh flavors and an overall bad experience.

For his case, which is that he has this one cigar and it needs some TLC, I told him to:

  • Get a plastic sandwich bag (i.e. Ziploc)
  • Put the cigar in the bag
  • Put a Boveda Humidification pack with 69% relative humidity (RH) in bag with cigar because it is foolproof – it keeps the environment at that humidity level for as long as it still has juice left
  • Close bag and let rest for a month in a place that doesn’t have wild swings in temperature (like a desk drawer or in a closet – someplace safe) and it’s best to find a place that is around 70°F
  • Every few days check to see if the Boveda pack is completely spent (if you touch it and it’s hard then it’s no longer providing any humidity) and if it is spent put a fresh pack in the plastic bag
  • After a couple months of doing this the cigar should hopefully be ready to smoke again – feel the cigar to determine if it’s good to go; if it no longer feels dry to the touch and you cannot hear the tobacco leaves cracking when you roll the cigar with your fingers then it’s good to go

Is this the right advice? Should I have told him to start out with a Boveda pack that maintains a 65% humidity level and then go up to the one with the 69% humidity level as a way to ease the cigar back to health? Is there a better way to do this?

Obviously, my solution isn’t all that elegant but I think it should get the job done and the cigar will be saved.

Comments

4 Responses to “Cigar Humidification Tip #1”

  1. TriMarkC on March 30th, 2011 4:09 pm

    I think I would have suggested that he start with the lowest possible Boveda humidification, and work his way up 1 pak %-level at a time each month – slow and consistent.

    And I would NOT have told him your last line about its ok when the wrapper no longer crackles when you roll it … more than one time of that happening, and he’ll likely have ruined it by cracking it!!

  2. Travis Lindsay on March 31st, 2011 11:26 pm

    Thanks for the comment TRIMARKC, I guess I need to make a clarification and add in “gently” to the roll the cigar between your fingers.

  3. Craig on April 1st, 2011 1:53 pm

    Basically, he just needs to get the cigar re-humidified. Your solution should work okay. I probably would have suggested a higher RH, but that’s because I’ve impatient. And I will occasionally gently roll my cigars between my fingers to check levels, although I have had one crack when it was too dry.

  4. [...] After my diagnosis the poor chap with the dry cigar inquired about what can be done for a dry cigar. The short answer is to put the dry stick in a humidified environment and gradually increase that humidity level to about 67-70% RH (long answer here). [...]

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