A cigar wrapper is very delicate and will crack if not taken care of. Part of taking care of a cigar is keeping it properly humidified. It is very important to maintain proper temperature and humidification while storing your cigars. If they are not taken care of properly the cigars can become dry and crack. Nobody really wants to smoke an old, dried out cigar. So, what do you do to keep them pristine?
It is best to keep the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower the temperature they are stored in, a higher humidity is needed to keep the cigars properly. I live in Texas; therefore, I must pay close attention to my humidor temperature. I keep it away from windows and outside walls in the coolest place of my living room. I have many friends who keep their humidors in their closets, which only have interior walls. The concern with letting the cigars get over 75 degrees Fahrenheit is beetles and mold. It is rare, but you must be diligent in your care as all it takes is one beetle to ruin all your precious cigars.
The ideal humidity for storing your cigars is 70% to 74% relative humidity. I use propylene glycol which helps keep the humidity stable. It also helps prevent mold and bacteria forming in my humidor. There are companies, like Xikar, who sell the containers which will contain the propylene glycol and will have different sizes to fit your humidor. However, if your system requires water, then always use distilled water to help prevent mold growth.
There are many storage options, such as a cedar cigar humidor, coolidor, cooler, travel case or Tupperware. Regardless of the option you choose, activate the humidification system and let it stand for about 48 hours so it can get to the proper humidification level. Then fill it half way with some cigars and check the humidification daily. After a few days of stable humidification add a few more and continue this until your humidor is full. You won’t have to check your humidor daily forever; just until you have several days of consistent humidification levels. You will want to check the humidity level regularly and there are good tools for this. Xikar sells a wireless hygrometer which allows you monitor the temperature and humidity from the comfort of your desk.
I love aging my cigars and caring for them. Yes, there is work involved but the results are so very worth it. I recently smoked a cigar which I had aged for two years and I cannot adequately describe the enjoyment I had in smoking that cigar. With every puff I closed my eyes and thought of the love and time I spent on this cigar. It was close to nirvana. And that is why you care for and humidify your cigars; to be able to have moments like this which make all the work worthwhile.
Tara Lee Maloney