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Do cigars with some age on them need to be dry boxed?

gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
I am one of those guys that has a hard time smoking cigars I have had for a long time, so although I have quite a few cigars with anywhere from 1-5 years on them (what I would consider "aged"), I don't smoke them very often. Yesterday was a special day for me so I broke down and lit up a My Father Le Bijou with 3 years rest. The cigar immediately split from the foot down, about 2-3 inches. All my cigars are in one humi and they are kept at a consistent 63-65% (use Boveda packs). My hygros are digital and are tested regularly. I have experienced splitting on aged cigars before, but it does not occur on cigars that have only a few months on them. I do live in a dry climate, but have seen this happen in summer as well as winter. The splitting almost looks like they are over humidified and then split right away when exposed to flame and ambient humidity. So...any suggestions on how best to avoid this with my treasures? If dry boxing would help, how long should they be "in transition"? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Comments

  • CharlieHeisCharlieHeis South DakotaPosts: 7,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That sucks. 24 hours is what someone answered a while back. I think it might have been one of the Ccom employees that get on the forum occasionally. 
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 7,579 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I hate when that happens! :'(
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  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 8,709 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've never really noticed any difference myself. But one tip I can give you @gripnrip is to always keep the band handy and at the first sign of splitting put it about half an inch from the split and just slide it up as you smoke till it finally stops trying to split on you. I've done this more times than I can count. Works like a charm. 
  • gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
    Rhamlin said:
    I've never really noticed any difference myself. But one tip I can give you @gripnrip is to always keep the band handy and at the first sign of splitting put it about half an inch from the split and just slide it up as you smoke till it finally stops trying to split on you. I've done this more times than I can count. Works like a charm. 

    Thanks-good tip. I made it through the split on this one and as it burned closer to the band it did not split again.
  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 7,320 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Do your "aged" cigars burn hot, or what seems like faster than the fresh ones?
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
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  • gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
    Do your "aged" cigars burn hot, or what seems like faster than the fresh ones?

    Not at all. Other than the burn being messed up in the split area, they smoke well.
  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 7,320 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hmmmmmm very strange indeed.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
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  • YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,556 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't know if it makes a difference or not.  When I take cigars out of my aging humidor, I put them in my regular smoking humidor.  Rarely do I smoke one right out of the aging humidor.

    Both are kept at 68 % and I have not had trouble with splitting or unraveling.  Maybe I'm just lucky, but I have never had to dry box any of my cigars.
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,960 ✭✭✭✭
    IMO splitting is under humidified
    Money can't buy taste
  • gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
    This is my main concern. Could it be that cigars in a "under humidified" environment for a longer period of time be more effected than those that have been in that same environment for a shorter period of time, for example 2 months vs. 2 years?
  • WylaffWylaff < < < HipsterPosts: 5,167 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes. It takes time for the humidity to regulate in the core of a cigar
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  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 7,320 ✭✭✭✭✭
    IMO splitting is under humidified

    This is exactly what I was getting at.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
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  • gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭

    IMO splitting is under humidified

    This is exactly what I was getting at.

    So....then should I assume that 63-65% humidity is not adequate for long term ageing? If not, any idea what the proper level should be? The other part of this that is puzzling is that it doesn't occur on all cigars.
  • WylaffWylaff < < < HipsterPosts: 5,167 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My understanding is that you should age at closer to 70, and bring down to 65 before you smoke them.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...
  • gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
    Cool. I think I'll bring my smaller humi up to speed and age in there and use the other for smoking....
  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 7,320 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What I'm thinking is that your hydrometer is not accurate, or your humidor was/is not properly seasoned.  When a humidor becomes unseasoned it will draw the moisture from your cigars.  In my opinion keeping your RH at 63-65 is not an issue for aging.  I believe and again this is my opinion, that you should check your hydrometer for accuracy, and reseason your humidor.  You could even add a second hydrometer to check the accuracy,  I have one that is +6%, I know this so I compensate accordingly. if yours goes the other way, that would make a big difference.  Tossing a couple of 65% boveda packs might not be a bad idea either, these work both ways so they will not over humidify your box.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
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  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 7,320 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Also wood humidors can be picky and require more attention than other storage devices.  Where it is in a room and the temperature in the room can affect it.  For example storing it against an outside wall during a super cold dry winter is not a good idea, same goes for the summer time.  Wood humidors are not the "set it and forget it" type, keep this in mind.  Just some food for thought.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
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  • gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
    I really appreciate all the input. I too use multiple hygrometers and they are tested regularly (most recently about three weeks ago) and they have always been consistent. I also keep two 65 or 68% Boveda packs in the humi at all times. The  humi (200 count) is kept in a closed credenza (no heat vent issues, not against an outside wall) in a basement bedroom. Our basement has separate climate control and the temperature in the humi (Xikar hygro has temp on it as well) is always between 62 and 66 degrees. I am careful with my babies-thus the frustration! I think re-seasoning the humi is a good idea. I will give that a shot and test an aged stick in a few months. Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions! 
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,960 ✭✭✭✭
    Ugh being a hvac guy temp and humidity rival each other. It's a long story but honestly if you can keep it 65/65 your good. Rh and temp are well a headache to think about. Just think higher temps and lower rh and lower temps higher rh
    Money can't buy taste
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    Boy, that's odd. If your temps and rh are correct you should have a great environment for aging. Over humidified cigars tend to bulge and swell when smoked and then split because of their increased girth. Your cigars seem to be indicating a long, prolonged drying out of the leaves.

    One thing to keep in mind is that hygros don't measure the rh in your cigar, only in the air around your cigars. If your wood boxes are giving off moisture (and they are) as fast as the humidifiers are replenishing it then it may seem like you have a perfect environment but really the moisture is simply going straight from the humidifier to the wood to the exterior environment. Over years the cigars will slowly dry more than you realize, especially if they are on the bottom away from the humidifiers. I eventually gave up on wooden humis because of this and have gone to all coolers.
  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 13,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @bigharpoon, you're talking about wood humidors, yes?  Not wooden boxes in coolers, correct?
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • gripnripgripnrip Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
    Boy, that's odd. If your temps and rh are correct you should have a great environment for aging. Over humidified cigars tend to bulge and swell when smoked and then split because of their increased girth. Your cigars seem to be indicating a long, prolonged drying out of the leaves.

    One thing to keep in mind is that hygros don't measure the rh in your cigar, only in the air around your cigars. If your wood boxes are giving off moisture (and they are) as fast as the humidifiers are replenishing it then it may seem like you have a perfect environment but really the moisture is simply going straight from the humidifier to the wood to the exterior environment. Over years the cigars will slowly dry more than you realize, especially if they are on the bottom away from the humidifiers. I eventually gave up on wooden humis because of this and have gone to all coolers.
    That's really interesting. I've re-seasoned my humidor and am trying to bump the humidity. Was thinking that in a couple of months I'll try another aged cigar and see how it goes. If the problem persists I'll most likely go the cooler route. Any idea how long it might take (assuming it will even work) to restore the proper humidity levels in the cigars?
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    @peter4jc, yes I'm talking about wooden humidors which are basically boxes and being a carpenter I call nearly everything a box, lol.

    Restoring proper humidity levels will depend on so many factors, like condition of the existing cigars and humidor, air flow, exterior environment, humidifiers, etc. I'd peck along and change things slowly and seriously consider the cooler route for aging and use your wooden humi for a smoking humi only (short term storage).
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