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Preserving your cigars

Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭
Well after doing some reading I don't find much on how to really really slow down the aging process. Some of my stock has gotten to the point of just right and I'd really like to keep them that way. I have pretty much vacume sealed them with a boveda pack and put them in a wineador at 60 degrees. I'm hoping this will stunt the aging and keep them at the awesome goodness they are at! But if anyone has input let me know
Money can't buy taste

Comments

  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,444 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If say that's pretty much about it but someone with more know how might have better input.
  • blurrblurr Posts: 962 ✭✭
    I think you're doing about the most you can. Also note if the cigars at your preferred rh, and you are truly vacuum sealing, you shouldn't need the Boveda pack. They can't loose any moisture if vacuum sealed. I know I've run across posts somewhere on the interwebs with tips for slowing down or halting the aging as much as possible. I'll report back if I can find some links.
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    Keeping your rh at the lower end, maybe 55 or so, will make the aging process slower. A lot of aging humidors are at the higher end, about 70 or so, to speed up the process.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,444 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looked it up on google. Tons of info on aging but not so much on what to do when they've reached their peak other than smoking them I'd say you've done about all you can do. Maybe freezing them but I don't know what effects long term freezing might cause.
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    Rhamlin:
    Looked it up on google. Tons of info on aging but not so much on what to do when they've reached their peak other than smoking them I'd say you've done about all you can do. Maybe freezing them but I don't know what effects long term freezing might cause.
    I'd probably steer clear of freezing. Any moisture you have will turn to expand and turn to ice, possibly rupturing your cigar. When you thaw it out, the ice pockets will melt and turn to water. Unless you can monitor it just right, you'll probably end up with a soggy lump of tobacco that used to be one of your favorite cigars.
  • blurrblurr Posts: 962 ✭✭
    Well being vacuum sealed at 65 rh, or whatever they were, I would assume there is very little air remaining. That would lead me to believe they will continue aging for a short time, then pretty much sit in stasis for as long as they are contained in the same vacuum sealed package. I would assume they should remain how you like them. Let us know in a few months (or years) how it works out for you.
  • VisionVision Posts: 2,723 ✭✭✭
    I understand that there will be little air..... but.... wont the ammonia in anything breaking down still exist? I think after many years this may not be the case but.... KUZI!!!??!??!?! We need you!
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the input guys!! Ill let ya know eventually how it all turns out. There are just a few of them that I feel are at the peak for me and just right to smoke!! So just wanted to see if I didn't have to smoke the crap out of them lol
    Money can't buy taste
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Try tubos as well
  • rzamanrzaman Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭
    Lee.mcglynn:
    Well after doing some reading I don't find much on how to really really slow down the aging process. Some of my stock has gotten to the point of just right and I'd really like to keep them that way. I have pretty much vacume sealed them with a boveda pack and put them in a wineador at 60 degrees. I'm hoping this will stunt the aging and keep them at the awesome goodness they are at! But if anyone has input let me know

    There are no magic rules about aging cigars. I have been aging couple years now. My personal experience is- aging cigar depends on the condition of the cigars, wrapper, biner, fillers, strength and local weather. You do not want to age Connecticut for a long time because it is lighter in body and it might lose some aroma. However, at the same time it also depends on what type of binder and fillers are under the light Connecticut wrapper. I found Stradivarius cigars are still aging for its strong binder and fillers (especially ligeros). Full bodied wrapper usually age well.

    My other findings are:

    Though regular Cuban cigars have little harshness at the beginning but within a year or two it mellow out. It just gets better with longer aging.

    Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran cigars hold the ammonia longer and also the metallic finish. They require longer aging.

    I believe, cigar doesn’t have unlimited aging potential because we also lose some flavors, aroma with over aging. I asked this question to some Cuban cigar makers. They said 10-15 years aging is good enough to enjoy the full flavors and aroma of a Cuban cigar. Later, it starts losing some aroma and back ground notes. It is a question of how mellow you want your cigar to be with sacrificing the flavors and aroma

    I also believe, though plastic wrapper protect the cigar wrapper but it is better to let them age unwrapped. I haven’t discovered extraordinary results with so-called slow aging. Even Cuban cigars smokers have different opinions. The majority Asian cigar collectors believe in slow aging with sealed box but majority European cigar collection believe in breathing the cigars here and there.

    Finally, you don’t have take my word rather than start your own experiment- some in sealed plastic bags and some unwrapped cigar in humidor and let them breathe every other month. I prefer the second method and got good results.

    About rhd, it also depends on the country you are in and the local weather and also the cigar type. I always age Cameroon wrapper with 70 because this wrapper dry out quickly and sometime crack. Again, there are no magic rules. You know your taste and your cigar. Just follow you heart and watch your local weather.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    blurr:
    Well being vacuum sealed at 65 rh, or whatever they were, I would assume there is very little air remaining. That would lead me to believe they will continue aging for a short time, then pretty much sit in stasis for as long as they are contained in the same vacuum sealed package. I would assume they should remain how you like them. Let us know in a few months (or years) how it works out for you.
    so the theory here is that once a cigar has aged to a point where you feel they have reached their peak, you pack them up and take out almost all the air to help prevent oxygen from continuing the aging process right?

    there are a few thoughts on this that pop into my head.

    since aging is basically two processes (marrying oils and breaking down oils) there may be many cigars out there that "peak" before all the oils are married. the vacuum seal will not prevent the oils from continuing to marry in any way.

    if you pull out ALL the air from the bag then the cigar will be crushed because there is a ton of space inside of a cigar. there has to be to get a good draw. so if we are leaving enough air in there that the cigars wont be hurt will it be enough to "stop" the process? i can say it will slow down but actually stopping it a bit more difficult to attain.

    i mean logistically, for the average person, actually stopping the aging process is a bit more difficult. i think that the way to do it wouldnt be a vacuum seal but rather gas replacement. get the oxygen out and replace it with nitrogen or another inert gas.
    of course this does not take care of the acid content in the leaves that may continue to break down the oils and leaf structure.

    it just seems impractical to attempt. every time you want one you have to break that seal and redo all the work. so is it possible? sure. is it worth the time? not for me. ill just keep my favorites on hand and if i box age, when they are awesome, ill just plow through the rest of them.
  • ddubridgeddubridge Posts: 3,979 ✭✭✭
    kuzi16:
    blurr:
    Well being vacuum sealed at 65 rh, or whatever they were, I would assume there is very little air remaining. That would lead me to believe they will continue aging for a short time, then pretty much sit in stasis for as long as they are contained in the same vacuum sealed package. I would assume they should remain how you like them. Let us know in a few months (or years) how it works out for you.
    so the theory here is that once a cigar has aged to a point where you feel they have reached their peak, you pack them up and take out almost all the air to help prevent oxygen from continuing the aging process right?

    there are a few thoughts on this that pop into my head.

    since aging is basically two processes (marrying oils and breaking down oils) there may be many cigars out there that "peak" before all the oils are married. the vacuum seal will not prevent the oils from continuing to marry in any way.

    if you pull out ALL the air from the bag then the cigar will be crushed because there is a ton of space inside of a cigar. there has to be to get a good draw. so if we are leaving enough air in there that the cigars wont be hurt will it be enough to "stop" the process? i can say it will slow down but actually stopping it a bit more difficult to attain.

    i mean logistically, for the average person, actually stopping the aging process is a bit more difficult. i think that the way to do it wouldnt be a vacuum seal but rather gas replacement. get the oxygen out and replace it with nitrogen or another inert gas.
    of course this does not take care of the acid content in the leaves that may continue to break down the oils and leaf structure.

    it just seems impractical to attempt. every time you want one you have to break that seal and redo all the work. so is it possible? sure. is it worth the time? not for me. ill just keep my favorites on hand and if i box age, when they are awesome, ill just plow through the rest of them.
    What about vaccum sealing in a glass jar? There would be no crush factor and it would be relatively easy to open and reseal.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    ddubridge:
    kuzi16:
    blurr:
    Well being vacuum sealed at 65 rh, or whatever they were, I would assume there is very little air remaining. That would lead me to believe they will continue aging for a short time, then pretty much sit in stasis for as long as they are contained in the same vacuum sealed package. I would assume they should remain how you like them. Let us know in a few months (or years) how it works out for you.
    so the theory here is that once a cigar has aged to a point where you feel they have reached their peak, you pack them up and take out almost all the air to help prevent oxygen from continuing the aging process right?

    there are a few thoughts on this that pop into my head.

    since aging is basically two processes (marrying oils and breaking down oils) there may be many cigars out there that "peak" before all the oils are married. the vacuum seal will not prevent the oils from continuing to marry in any way.

    if you pull out ALL the air from the bag then the cigar will be crushed because there is a ton of space inside of a cigar. there has to be to get a good draw. so if we are leaving enough air in there that the cigars wont be hurt will it be enough to "stop" the process? i can say it will slow down but actually stopping it a bit more difficult to attain.

    i mean logistically, for the average person, actually stopping the aging process is a bit more difficult. i think that the way to do it wouldnt be a vacuum seal but rather gas replacement. get the oxygen out and replace it with nitrogen or another inert gas.
    of course this does not take care of the acid content in the leaves that may continue to break down the oils and leaf structure.

    it just seems impractical to attempt. every time you want one you have to break that seal and redo all the work. so is it possible? sure. is it worth the time? not for me. ill just keep my favorites on hand and if i box age, when they are awesome, ill just plow through the rest of them.
    What about vaccum sealing in a glass jar? There would be no crush factor and it would be relatively easy to open and reseal.
    I'm not sure this would solve the crush problem entirely...the air should still be sucked out of the cigars. And you still have to re-do the vacuum every time you wanted one.
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    it would get rid of the crush factor because you dont have soft sides pressing down on cigars now but there is still massive negative pressure and that may cause issues for the cigar. you arent going to get all the air out. it may not be enough to stop the process.

    iduno. it may work theoretically but the reality seems to me like its a waste of time. they are going to slowly break down no matter what you do. its more effort than value.
  • camgfscamgfs Posts: 968
    My nickel's worth (cause they got rid of the penny here in Canada):
    Smoke some of the ones that have that "perfect" age on them and put the rest away for a long, long time. It's been my experience that any cigar that gets better in 6 months to several years will usually continue to improve for many, many more years. Isn't it Cigar.com that has Cuban pre-embargo cigars up to 100 years old and still boasts that they are smokable????

    I have Cuban cigars with up to 11 years on them, and they are still getting better and better. I'm sadly running out of one brand, and I hope to keep one until it's 20 years old before smoking it.

    My opinion comes from 30+ years of enjoying this hobby. When properly maintained, most (no, not all) cigars will continue to develop and change over long periods of time. Why do you think many manufacturers say that they aged their tobacco for bla bla years before even rolling the cigar? Obviously the tobacco can handle the ageing process very well.
    I doubt you'll be dissapointed in those "perfectly aged" sticks if you have a chance to try them 2 or 5 years from now.

  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,263 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting thread here, Lee. Some good ideas and debate going on ....

    One thing that stuck out to me while reading this was Kuzi's post talking about taking out the oxygen, since that's what causes the "aging process" to happen.
    And I get the potential problems with vacuum sealing and possibly crushing the cigars .... so skip that
    Then, as Kuzi said, your best option is gas replacement with something like nitrogen, but how the heck are you going to pull that off??? So scratch that idea...

    Hmm .... but I keep going back to the "get rid of oxygen" statement, and I got to thinking --- could you use those small packets like the one's that are included with foods to help extend the shelf life?
    A quick read of the wikipedia article leads me to believe these might work, and be the "easiest" option.
    IDK, looks like they sell for pretty cheap on amazon. What if you throw a couple of those and the cigars in a glass jar, and then vaccuum seal it as ddubridge suggested. Maybe that would work better?

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    jgibv:
    Hmm .... but I keep going back to the "get rid of oxygen" statement, and I got to thinking --- could you use those small packets like the one's that are included with foods to help extend the shelf life?
    A quick read of the wikipedia article leads me to believe these might work, and be the "easiest" option.
    IDK, looks like they sell for pretty cheap on amazon. What if you throw a couple of those and the cigars in a glass jar, and then vaccuum seal it as ddubridge suggested. Maybe that would work better?
    i wonder if they affect humidity or flavor in any way. i have no experience with that product so i cant tell for sure.
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    jgibv:
    Then, as Kuzi said, your best option is gas replacement with something like nitrogen, but how the heck are you going to pull that off??? So scratch that idea...
    It'd be an elaborate set up for an average cigar smoker, but the same way you service an aircraft's shock strut, with a pressurized N2 tank, a pressure regulator, a check valve, and bleed valve. Nitrogen does not compress the way oxygen or "air" does. With steady pressure, a slightly cracked bleed valve will vent the oxygen first. But I'd be more worried about exploding the container in your face than I would be about whether the cigars stop aging.

    Hey, you asked!
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    clearlysuspect:
    jgibv:
    Then, as Kuzi said, your best option is gas replacement with something like nitrogen, but how the heck are you going to pull that off??? So scratch that idea...
    It'd be an elaborate set up for an average cigar smoker, but the same way you service an aircraft's shock strut, with a pressurized N2 tank, a pressure regulator, a check valve, and bleed valve. Nitrogen does not compress the way oxygen or "air" does. With steady pressure, a slightly cracked bleed valve will vent the oxygen first. But I'd be more worried about exploding the container in your face than I would be about whether the cigars stop aging.

    Hey, you asked!
    Oh... and make sure the bleed valve is at the bottom of the container.
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    Exploding glass in your face is a small price to play for preserving your cigars.
  • blurrblurr Posts: 962 ✭✭
    First off, I usually disagree with camfqs because of the Cuban bias, but he's dead on and correct for my tastes. All cigars, yes all are better after another year aging. Just my opinion, like what I like so whatever. Second, vacuum sealing destroys cigars since when? Try the redneck vacuum seal, a freezer Ziploc bag and a straw, suck all the OXYGEN out and zip the seal. Same thing. You mean to tell me those tiny cubic millimeters of air left over in that tight pouch are promoting aging? Maybe a commercial vacuum sealer will crush cigars, but I do all my Cubans this way to freeze before aging. Three Ziploc bags all air removed except for miniscule amounts in tiny pockets. No air left except for a tiny amount, so how can they age further without FRESH air and circulation? This is simple, tell us how it works OP.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    I disagree that all cigars are better with age. I can think of several blends that get bland with age. Also, some folks like the pop of a DPG ROTT, where I can't stand them until they hit a year or two them I freak. IMO, we age cigars to get them where we want them, so when they are there...smoke them! Of course, with Cubans age is an entirely different subject as I feel the aging process is totally different. They seem to get stronger IMO, but cleaner in finish.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    blurr:
    You mean to tell me those tiny cubic millimeters of air left over in that tight pouch are promoting aging?
    yes.

    the thread is about stopping aging at a point. if you get all but a little air out the cigar will still age some. not as fast but if you plan on holding them for years and years on end without adding any age then the O2 in there will continue the process.

    flat out stopping the aging process is, for all realistic purposes, impossible.

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