Some advice is needed...

So I just started getting into cigars even though I never really smoked anything. I've had a few dominicans and really dig different flavors associated with them. What's really getting me into cigars has been my recent wedding. My best man from Spain bought me a box of habanos - Rafael gonzales panetelas extra.

I have no real experience with storing cigars and it's showing. I smoked one soon after I got them (great cigar!) but after a month they appear to be dried out. :( They appear harder than before and when I smoked one the wrapping started to crack making it a more difficult smoke.

So some questions:

1) how do I reverse the drying without a humidor and keep them humid? What equipment do I need (hygrometer)?

2) I obviously need to shop for humidor. Any recommendations for someone starting out? Something small but can hold humidity perfectly?

3) are my habanos salvageable?

Any and all advice are greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

J

Comments

  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    phattysbox:
    So I just started getting into cigars even though I never really smoked anything. I've had a few dominicans and really dig different flavors associated with them. What's really getting me into cigars has been my recent wedding. My best man from Spain bought me a box of habanos - Rafael gonzales panetelas extra. I have no real experience with storing cigars and it's showing. I smoked one soon after I got them (great cigar!) but after a month they appear to be dried out. :( They appear harder than before and when I smoked one the wrapping started to crack making it a more difficult smoke. So some questions: 1) how do I reverse the drying without a humidor and keep them humid? What equipment do I need (hygrometer)? 2) I obviously need to shop for humidor. Any recommendations for someone starting out? Something small but can hold humidity perfectly? 3) are my habanos salvageable? Any and all advice are greatly appreciated! Cheers, J
    Do a search for Seasoning a Humidor, that will get you started on a humi to hold those sticks.

    Some sort of Humidifier will also be needed. Beads work great, but there are many different ways to provide measured moisture to the inside of your humi.

    Your sticks should be salvagable as long as you don't raise the RH too quickly which may cause them to split open. If you get some humidification happening those sticks will come back to smokable, but go slowly, don't let them get moist too quickly, can't stress that enough bro'. If you get a hygrometer it will make this process a LOT easier. If you go that route, thenI would keep my eye on the RH and just let it come up by a few % points a day until your sticks are back to where you want them to be stored. How would you do this? You will likely have to remove your humidification device whenever your RH get's too high. The idea is to introduce the sticks back into a more moist environment without having them split, so go slow. Hope this helps a little. If you need some Humi pillows let me know I can send you some, I have dozens of them.

    BTW WELCOME to the forums.
  • Russ55Russ55 Posts: 2,765
    phattysbox:
    1) how do I reverse the drying without a humidor and keep them humid? What equipment do I need (hygrometer)?
    Without using a humidor, you could use ziploc bags, tupperware, or a cooler. Make sure they are clean and/or new. You're going to need some kind of humidification device and a hygrometer. You're going to need to calibrate the hygrometer so you know it's accurate. I suggest a digital one, and a boveda calibration kit. Alternatively you can use the Salt test to calibrate. Google those terms and I'm sure they'll come up.
    phattysbox:
    2) I obviously need to shop for humidor. Any recommendations for someone starting out? Something small but can hold humidity perfectly?
    Buy bigger than you think you'll need. Make sure you season it before you add sticks. A search will bring up tons of information on how to season. Alternatively Boveda makes a seasoning kit. They work great. Whether the humidor will hold humidity perfectly or not is going to depend on a lot of factors. How well you season it, it's quality and build construction, the humidity device, how often you open it, how full it is, and the ambient temp and humidity.
    phattysbox:
    3) are my habanos salvageable?
    Yeah, more than likely. You just need to add humidity very slowly. The key with cigars is to do things slowly. Right now they are sitting at whatever your ambient humidity is at. You need to bring them up slowly to the 60ish range. I'd probably use a ziploc bag and some beads. Put a few charged beads in there and a calibrated hygrometer and just move the RH up slowly by adding more beads every few days. There might be other, better ways to do it though. I'm sure someone else will chime in.
  • Sounds like I need to get a decent hygrometer. Should I wait to buy a small size humidor that has one built in or should I buy one separately and slowly raise the RH by another method?

    Also, some jargon is new to me. What are humi pillows?
  • Russ55Russ55 Posts: 2,765
    I would buy a separate one. The analogs that are built in are almost always crap. Go for a digital.

    This is a water pillow. Good little things to have. image

    http://www.cigar.com/cigars/viewcigar.asp?prod=M-HMC07-10

    They usually come free in an order from ccom.
  • I would suggest NOT using the hygrometer or humidification device that is in a small humidor. The hygrometer will not be very accurate and neither will the humidification device. I'd stick with a good, inexpensive digital hygrometer and some beads for humidification.
  • Clearly I need to learn more about this new found hobby. What are humi beads? Are they similar to pillows? What is the ideal RH sticks need to be stored at? Do different cigar need different RHs?

    With a these questions if someone can direct me to a cigar guide or sticky that would be great. Funny, I'm always on the ever popular craft beer forum, beer advocate, giving advice. No I know how it is to be on the noon end of things.
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    phattysbox:
    Clearly I need to learn more about this new found hobby. What are humi beads? They are beads that regulate humidity with little attention, just use Distilled water and they work great!Are they similar to pillows?Pillows do some of the same stuff, but are not as efficient and I believe they OUTPUT moisture for good measure, but don't ABSORB moisture if your humi is too moist as well as they should What is the ideal RH sticks need to be stored at? This is personal preference, but most say 65-70% is good, I prefer 65% for sure Do different cigar need different RHs? Some heavier and oily cigars can benefit from being a little drier to smoke, but if you plan your night, then you can pull the richer cigars a day before hand to let them dry a bit to smoke them, but that's is you are really **** about your stuff With a these questions if someone can direct me to a cigar guide or sticky that would be great.There is no guide, per se, but these forums are a great resource and we do NOT treat anyone with disdain for asking new questions (even if we'd heard them a million times before) so ASK AWAY and we shall answer! Funny, I'm always on the ever popular craft beer forum, beer advocate, giving advice. No I know how it is to be on the noon end of things.
  • ScottTDawgScottTDawg Prairie du Chein, WIPosts: 206 ✭✭
    Welcome to the forums!

    I've only been smoking for around a year. Like you, I hadn't really smoked anything before. The friend who gave me my first cigar at my step-daughter's wedding referred me to this site and the rest is history!

    I've learned a lot by searching the forums. Go to the first page that shows General Discussion, Cigar 101, etc. At the top right is a blank box. Type in a search term and when you click on search the results will show every post that contains that particular term. You can click on those posts and eventually navigate to the whole thread.

    Good Luck!

    Don't forget to add to the Newbie Welcoming Thread and you may want to check out this for formatting your posts. It sure helped me.

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