Humidity for Cigar Aging

I have a Versailles humidor I keep around 64-66% for cigars that I am ready to smoke and the coolerdor with the main stock of a few hundred cigars at 69-72%. What is the best humidity to age these cigars at long term? The temps in both are around 66-69deg

Comments

  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Offhand, I'd say 69-72 is a tad high - try to keep it between 65 and 70% (I like mine closer to 65%)
  • I actually brought up a similar topic a while back. Now of course, which humidity is best for aging is subjective, but I do remembering someone saying this: higher humidity will cause cigars to age quicker while lower humidity will slow the process. So that's my 2 cents
  • CAcigarguy007CAcigarguy007 Posts: 333 ✭✭✭
    I'd say you are golden at 69RH-72RH for long-term aging. Those cigars will age awesomely at that RH and the oils will be well protected to boot. If you have a water vent on the cooler I'd open that up, at least halfway to have a good air flow/exchange and help prevent mold, mold doesn't like air, which is why mold is usually found in the bottom corners of humidors. Your cigars will last indefinitely under those conditions, you have nothing to worry about. You're good! I also think what you are referring to is temp, as far as maturation or lack there of, with regard to aging cigars. Temps lower than 55 will slow the aging process down, on the other hand, a lower RH (60ish) will only speed up the loss/degradation of oils/VOC's (volatile organic compounds) which is where a lot of the flavors are.
  • docbp87docbp87 Posts: 3,521
    Higher end of acceptable for long term aging, low end for smoking. I keep my aging humidor around 67%, and my smoking humis and cooler around 62-63%.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    I prefer my smoking stash at 62--65%. They never sit in my box long enough to age so I don't worry about that! LOL
  • boydmcgowanboydmcgowan Posts: 1,101
    docbp87:
    Higher end of acceptable for long term aging, low end for smoking. I keep my aging humidor around 67%, and my smoking humis and cooler around 62-63%.
    Yup, this seems to be where most people are at. Age at slightly higher RH than they smoke at. That being said, Shaun, your 69-72% is still fine but right on the limit of the danger zone there and could easily cross over on a warm day.

    So your technically ok but your pushing it and you might want to keep it unter 70% at all times just to be safe.

    I personally like a higher RH than most and try to keep my aging and smoking humis' both at the same RH between 65% and 70% (closer to but never over 70%) becuase I just feel like the smoke is chewier at a higher RH, and slight burn problems really don't bug me much, and it helps (SLIGHTLY) with aging.
  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    docbp87:
    Higher end of acceptable for long term aging, low end for smoking.
    This is how I learned it also. I keep my smoking humi's around 65% and aging humi's around 70% RH.

  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    docbp87:
    Higher end of acceptable for long term aging, low end for smoking.
    This is how I learned it also. I keep my smoking humi's around 65% and aging humi's around 70% RH.

  • I also don't have holes in my cooler yet(as it doesn't have a drain plug) but I will be drilling 2 holes tonight to keep the air somewhat flowing
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Shaun.Harrison87:
    I also don't have holes in my cooler yet(as it doesn't have a drain plug) but I will be drilling 2 holes tonight to keep the air somewhat flowing
    if you get into the cooler more than once a week then there should be no need to drill. it will be way harder to maintain humidity if you do drill.
    yes, air flow is important, but not so important that you have to do that. cigars in tubes do not have air exchange as much as the cooler will if you open it once a week or so. those tubes seem to do ok.
  • I had some weatherstripping laying around last night and placed it on the lip from the right handle to the left handle so the coolerdor doesn't snap shut, it just rests on the weather stripping. This gives me a small gap on top where the weather stripping starts but gives a nice seal that should let the cooler get enough air in the winter without having to burp it.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Shaun.Harrison87:
    I had some weatherstripping laying around last night and placed it on the lip from the right handle to the left handle so the coolerdor doesn't snap shut, it just rests on the weather stripping. This gives me a small gap on top where the weather stripping starts but gives a nice seal that should let the cooler get enough air in the winter without having to burp it.
    I don't quite understand this recent talk of air flow. I have been having a similar conversation in another thread. Where did this idea of drilling holes in coolerdors come from? Would you do it with a wooden humi? They are airtight when closed as well. I am afraid that some BOTL are going to start having all kinds of RH problems with all this experimenting going on. Please be careful guy's... those sticks represent a LARGE investment.
  • laker1963:
    Shaun.Harrison87:
    I had some weatherstripping laying around last night and placed it on the lip from the right handle to the left handle so the coolerdor doesn't snap shut, it just rests on the weather stripping. This gives me a small gap on top where the weather stripping starts but gives a nice seal that should let the cooler get enough air in the winter without having to burp it.
    I don't quite understand this recent talk of air flow. I have been having a similar conversation in another thread. Where did this idea of drilling holes in coolerdors come from? Would you do it with a wooden humi? They are airtight when closed as well. I am afraid that some BOTL are going to start having all kinds of RH problems with all this experimenting going on. Please be careful guy's... those sticks represent a LARGE investment.
    The cedar breathes with the outside air a lot better than the coolers do...plus I open my humi about once a day(it's my ready to smoke sticks) and I don't want to have to open the coolerdor because that is for long term storage. I have left the lid cracked with a 1/2"gap on the front of it for a 3day weekend and it stayed at 68% humidity. Many BotL have said that cigars give off ammonia as they age and that is the reason for burping or getting fresh air into your humi...I think this will eliminate the problem, but let me know if I am being mislead
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    I Don't know if you are being mislead Shaun, but I would keep a real close eye on that RH. I think if it were me I would try experimenting on the cooloerdor without any sticks in there. If it will hold a stable RH over an extended period of time then you have to decide if you will risk your sticks in it. I think my biggest worry would be that if I were away from the cooler for an extended period, the RH may spike or drop off. I keep my coolerdor closed, but I do go into every other day or so too.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    CAcigarguy007:
    I'd say you are golden at 69RH-72RH for long-term aging. Those cigars will age awesomely at that RH and the oils will be well protected to boot. If you have a water vent on the cooler I'd open that up, at least halfway to have a good air flow/exchange and help prevent mold, mold doesn't like air, which is why mold is usually found in the bottom corners of humidors. Your cigars will last indefinitely under those conditions, you have nothing to worry about. You're good! I also think what you are referring to is temp, as far as maturation or lack there of, with regard to aging cigars. Temps lower than 55 will slow the aging process down, on the other hand, a lower RH (60ish) will only speed up the loss/degradation of oils/VOC's (volatile organic compounds) which is where a lot of the flavors are.
    i agree with everything here save for one minor detail...
    the line "Your cigars will last indefinitely under those conditions, " is not 100% true. after a VERY long time they will still have a fate worse than fire. they are still a natural product made from 100% natural materials. they will always be constantly breaking down. there will be a point where even the strongest cigars kept under the best conditions will no longer have any flavor left.
    however, it is only a minor detail, like i said, because this may not happen for such a long time (depending on the cigar) that you may not live long enough to have it be an issue. therefore the line of "you have nothing to worry about" still holds true.


    however, this does bring up an interesting related thought.
    if you keep your humi at 65% this will let the oild break down SLIGHTLY faster.
    is this true age or not?
    AND
    will a good palate be able to tell the difference


    i personally believe that this "sped up aging" will not end in the same results. the reason why i think this is because it isnt just how the oils break down within the cigar, it is also how the oils from the different tobacco's oils interact with each other over time in the cigar. if the oils break down before they interact, then potential is lost.

    this is actually why i switched back to holding my humidor at 69% rh. (not the 65% i was before)

    will a good palate notice the difference? i cant be 100% sure. but given the thoughts expressed above, it sounds logical that there are some people out there that can tell. i dont know if i can. i have never paid much attention to that on a long term basis. i have not been in the hobby long enough to have aged stock in both the 65% range and 70% range.


    there is still nothing wrong with having a humidor at 65%rh to help with burn issues, but for long term aging 70/70 is still the best rule of thumb.

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Shaun.Harrison87:
    The cedar breathes with the outside air a lot better than the coolers do...plus I open my humi about once a day(it's my ready to smoke sticks) and I don't want to have to open the coolerdor because that is for long term storage.
    opening it once a week for only a few seconds will do the trick. not much air flow is needed.
    Shaun.Harrison87:
    I have left the lid cracked with a 1/2"gap on the front of it for a 3day weekend and it stayed at 68% humidity. Many BotL have said that cigars give off ammonia as they age and that is the reason for burping or getting fresh air into your humi...I think this will eliminate the problem, but let me know if I am being mislead
    you are not being mislead on the air exchange issue. but as i stated a few times in this thread now, opening that cooler once a week or so, even for only a few seconds, will eliminate any issues AND keep the RH issue at bay.
    the ammonia is from under fermented sticks. they ahve been taken from the aging room too soon and shipped to your door. this will not have ill effect on your other cigars. ALL cigars have fermented like this at one point or another. let the ammonia out by opening that cooler once a week.
    some people here are giving an impression that opening this cooler will somehow harm the age process or that it is some kind of hassle. it wont effect the aging process (except in a positive way) and it only takes but 10 seconds.


    im just sayin
  • CAcigarguy007CAcigarguy007 Posts: 333 ✭✭✭
    I guess I should have specified that I need air flow, hence the holes. I use plastic and since it dose not breath, I actually have to have air flow in order to keep humidity from rising too high. Unlike wood humidors, plastic isn't competing with the cigars for moister and dissipating it slowly so there is no were for it to go. It takes much less humidification in a plastic environment to keep cigars properly humidified. Air is a must for me when using plastic, even when I was running two New Air fridges I never kept the drain holes plugged for the same reason. The humidity will just rise and rise. This dose have some small drawbacks as the humidification devices sometimes have to work a bit harder but adding additional media or making a tighter seal with weather stripping solves that pretty easily. Most coolers have a vent of some kind or simply resting the lid VS. sealing it will be enough. It all really depends on your environment/individual storage conditions, sometimes in the winter when it's really cold you may be able to keep it sealed up and then have to vent in the summer. It really just depends. For me personally (where I live and using plastic) I need to vent in order to keep humidity in balance and keep it from going too high. It really is just on a needs basis and everyone doesn't need to do this, especially with a wood humidor! Just thought I should clarify in case there was some confusion. Don't want anyone poking holes in their pretty new wooden humi....lol.
  • CAcigarguy007CAcigarguy007 Posts: 333 ✭✭✭
    A side note about storing a humidor sealed for a long time is to be very careful as I have only had a single minor mold issue once and it was in the corner of a wooden humidor that was kept sealed and opened at least every other day for a smoke. Airflow (as a by-product of necessity mind you) provides additional protection from mold. A wooden humidor is the prefect environment for mold (another reason I prefer plastic) to develop so do check frequently for mold rather than just opening for 10 seconds. I'd open them for a few min at min every so often and be diligent on your mold checks, if you catch it early you can save a lot of tears and even salvage the affected cigars by dusting them off and clipping the foot a bit (that is were it usually hits). I'd also wear gloves and/or try to handle your cigars as least as possible, even the oils from your hands can get those molds spores duplicating.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    i hear your argument for 70% rh.
    ...but the more you talk about it, the more you are showing the flaws of it. mold is one huge factor on why people keep the humidity at 65-68%. if it is in that range the risk is far less, no matter what the air flow.

    that being said, i still keep mine higher (69%) i do not consider it a burden to open my humidors for a few moments every week and do a quick look through.
Sign In or Register to comment.