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Resting Cigars

EulogyEulogy Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
I'm about to get my first humidor tomorrow. I know that I will need to season the humidor for at least a few days before adding my newly purchased cigars; but I'm thinking that I'm going to leave the cello on all of the cigars and I am wondering if that will increase the time that I would need to allow them to rest. I'm thinking that it should take longer for the cigars to get acclimated with the cello on, then if they were naked. Also, this will be my first time seasoning or owning a humidor and any advice would be welcome.


  • jimmyv723jimmyv723 Posts: 1,858 ✭✭✭
    The best advice is patience patience patience. Just take your time and season it right so you don't have issues later. Also, upgrading from the analog hygrometer to a digital one is pretty much a must and same with upgrading the humidifier to something like Boveda packs or beads/kitty litter (has to be the fragrance free silica litter though if you go that route).

    As far as the cello goes that just comes down to preference and some prefer removing it while others leave it on. I'm one who leaves them on because the cello does breathe and it also helps protects the cigars from damage while shuffling or moving them around. Last thing you want to do is damage a stick while fondling it.
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  • EulogyEulogy Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The humidifier that I purchased came with a digital hydrometer. I'm hoping that it works well enough to hold off on purchasing another one for a little while. I'm going to do a salt test to see how accurate it is. I also purchased Humi-Care Black Ice. I've read some good things about it and I'm hoping for the best. I read the thread about whether people leave the cello on or off. I thought that the argument for leaving them on, like you stated, would provide more protection. I just wasn't sure if it I would have to allow them to rest or acclimate before they would be ready to smoke. Thanks for your help again.
  • avengethisavengethis Posts: 5,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I used the Black-ice for awhile but have since switched to Beads in everything. The black ice held about 70% humidity which isn't bad but I found I prefer smoking sticks that are around 65% better. I could not get the humidity to come down below 70% with the Ice unless I started using Boveda packs. So for the sake of saving room I switched to beads. In a 150 count humi I have one of the big rectangular humidifiers filled with beads and then i have a little sack in the bottom of the humidor to help spread out the humidity and recover quickly.

    As far as leaving celo on or taking it off its alll personal preference. Whatever way you go it is best to give your cigars a rest of at least 4-5 days if not 2 weeks before smoking just to allow them to acclimate to your humidity and conditions.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • EulogyEulogy Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good to know, thanks. I'll try and wait for 2 weeks before trying any of my own sticks. I guess, I'll just keep mooching off my brother for a little while.
  • The3StogiesThe3Stogies Posts: 2,652 ✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like you are all set to get started, and wait the 2 weeks at least. Best to leave the cello on for now for all the reasons above. If you are like me you will be in there a few times a day fondling your sticks and it may take a little time to get it really stable. Once you get it the rest is easy, well waiting isn't.

    Now once you get your 2nd larger humi and it is stable then do some naked for aging, you won't be moving them around as much.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 9,866 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Did anybody think to tell him NOT to wipe? See the "Catfish seasoning thread". Even though you are not using KItty litter, study that thread. I hope It's not too late.
  • EulogyEulogy Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I did read that post and its sage like advice steered me away from doing something stupid. If I didn't find this site, I might have because the directions that came with the humi told me to.
  • avengethisavengethis Posts: 5,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My first humi I wiped and it has been going strong for 5 years now. No mold, rock steady. Not saying his method doesnt work as it has been proven it does. But there is more than 1 way to skin a cat.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 9,866 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're right. Wiping doesn't ALWAYS result in disaster. LOL But, it's just too easy to get the wood too wet. It's a shortcut in my opinion and a novice may be totally unaware of the problems that could result. I think the slow no-wipe is safer/better.
  • EulogyEulogy Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, I meant that the directions that came with the humi said to wipe the inside of the box with water and enjoy my new humi. If I followed those directions, I think I would have destroyed it.
  • jd50aejd50ae Posts: 7,900 ✭✭✭✭✭
    STORAGE: WHAT ABOUT AGING? (From Cigar School)

    “Cigars should not be consumed during the sick period.”
    That’s the clear and unambiguous advice from Nee in An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post- Revolution Havana Cigars. It’s worth noting, because the taste of a cigar changes over time. Nee defines four different stages of aging:

    Sick period;
    First Maturation;
    Second Maturation;
    Third Maturation.

    The “sick period” is marked by the unpleasant smell of ammonia when smelling the cigars. Nee notes that this is due to the continuing fermentation of the leaves once rolled into cigars and will go away as the cigars are ventilated. He believes that for most cigars, “the ammoniac smell will be over 90% gone in a few months, 95% to 99% gone by the end of the first year and practically all gone by the end of the second year.” This instruction is carried by only one cigar we know of: Rafael Gonzalez. Originated in Cuba in 1928, it has long carried the following notice on the box: “In order that the Connoisseur may fully appreciate the perfect fragrance they should be smoked either within one month of the date of shipment from Havana or should be carefully matured for about one year.”

    Nee is concerned exclusively with Cuban-made cigars and does not comment on any differences in manufacture between Cuba and other cigar-producing countries. But among manufacturers for the U.S. market, in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and other countries, the length of time between when leaves are harvested and when they are rolled into cigars is longer, sometimes much longer (like in years). This helps reduce the ammoniac element. And there are manufacturers who hold their made and boxed cigars for weeks up to months to provide some in- the-box aging that will further eliminate the ammonia problem. Thus, most – but not all – cigars on U.S. smokeshop shelves have already passed through the problem stage. The question is then, how will aging improve cigars. The answer can be quite a bit, if you’re willing to be patient.

    The legendary cigar merchant and brand icon Zino Davidoff always maintained that cigars should be stored in their original boxes because they “keep working” over time. Nee agrees and he’s willing to be patient:
    “Cigars continue to generate pleasant aromas and flavors as a result of the continuous fermentation. These flavors thus increase in intensity with time. And bitterness, believed to be the taste of nicotine, becomes less and less as fermentation causes nicotine to be broken down into simpler molecules.”
    While noting that Nee does not claim to be a chemist by profession, he offers the following guidelines for aging cigars into the first maturation period:

    For mild cigars, about 2-3 years in standard boxes and 4-5 years in cabinets!
    For medium-bodied cigars, five years in regular boxes and 6-8 years in cabinets.
    For full-bodied cigars, 7-8 years in standard boxes and 10-15 years in cabinets.

    I only know of one guy on here that buys cigars just to age them for years and years. There are probably more but one who really works at it.

    I am just too old to make those kind of plans so I guess I will never know.

    If I were younger I would probably give it a whirl and build a walk in.
  • RhamlinRhamlin Posts: 8,866 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, I meant that the directions that came with the humi said to wipe the inside of the box with water and enjoy my new humi. If I followed those directions, I think I would have destroyed it.
    Just remember the key is to lightly wipe it down with a dampened clean cloth or sponge you don't want to over do it.
  • EulogyEulogy Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I read that in another post of how to season your humi. It was just the directions that came with the box didn't say anything about distilled water, a clean sponge, or lightly wiping. It made it sound like all I had to do was wipe it with water and add my cigars. I ended up not wiping my humi and just placing a clean damp sponge in it for four days. I added my cigars and its been at a constant 67% since. Now for the waiting game, I'm trying to wait at least two weeks before I enjoy anything out of it. Thanks for everyone's replies so far.
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