A humidor is very important to making sure that your cigars stay in perfect condition for once you are ready to smoke one. Typically, a humidor is a humidity-controlled box or in many cases a whole room, used primarily for storing cigars, cigarettes, or pipe tobacco.
Too much or too little humidity can be harmful to tobacco products, so a humidor’s primary function is to maintain a steady, desirable moisture level. It protects the contents from physical damage and any deterioration caused from sunlight.
For personal use, small wooden boxes that hold a few dozen or just a few cigars are common. Cigar shops have walk-in humidors. Many humidors use hygrometers to monitor their humidity levels.
A hygrometer is used to measure the amount of humidity and water vapor in the atmosphere, in soil, or in a confined space. The instrument usually relies on measurements of some other quantity such as temperature, pressure, mass, a mechanical or electrical change in a substance as moisture is absorbed.
Styles of Humidors
Walk-in: These are most common in cigar bars or stores. One room is built as or converted to a humidor where all the cigars are stored.
Cabinet: Cabinets are usually placed on the floor as a piece of furniture. It typically holds a very large amount (1000–5000) of cigars.
Desktop: These are the most common type of humidors. These are typically box sized with a lid on top or with one or more drawers. They vary in size from 25–500 cigars in their capacity.
Travel Size: These are portable, and usually hold 2 to 20 cigars.
Most commercially made humidor cases are made of wood. Although materials such as acrylic, glass, and metal are also used in the construction. Aside from pleasing aesthetics, the casing’s purpose is to protect the interior and create a closed environment, so any durable and airtight material can be used.
The interior of a humidor is typically a veneer of Spanish cedar, which possesses several desirable characteristics for cigar storage. These are the following characteristics that stand out as most important:
- Holds more moisture than most other woods, so it maintains humidity.
- Not prone to warping or cupping in high humidity situations.
- Imparts its aroma to cigars. For that same reason, many cigars are wrapped in Spanish-cedar sheets before they are sold.
- Repels tobacco beetles. These pinhead-sized pests can ruin entire stocks of cigars by eating the tobacco and laying eggs, causing an infestation. Beetle eggs usually only hatch at around 77 °F, although there are instances where they will hatch at cooler temperatures if the humidity is too high.
Typically, humidors are commercially produced. Most walk-ins are custom built. And some humidors are homemade. They can range in material, size and in their complexity. The capacity is determined by deducting the space required for the humidification element and some extra room between the element and the cigars.
A humidor needs to be seasoned when purchased new or if it has not been used for a while. The wood in an unseasoned humidor will absorb moisture from within, drying the stored cigars out. The preferred technique for bringing the wood close to an optimal relative humidity level where it will buffer moisture, is placing a small container of distilled water inside the humidor for one to three days.
Humidors often contain a permanent humidifying system that keeps the air moist, which in turn keeps the cigars moist. Without a humidor, within just two to three days, cigars will quickly lose their moisture and level up with the general humidity around them. The more empty space, the more readily the humidity level of the box will fluctuate.
Most humidifying elements are passive, releasing stored humidity through evaporation and diffusion. The use of a 50/50 solution of propylene glycol and distilled water is recommended for replenishing the passive humidifying element. Retailers and manufacturers claim propylene glycol also has mild antifungal and antibacterial properties. Distilled water should always be used, due to its lack of minerals, additives, or bacteria.
Electronic humidifiers are also available. These humidors are usually reserved for very large humidors. A sensor measures the outside humidity and then activates a ventilator, which blows air over a humid sponge or water tank into the humidor. Once the preset humidity level has been reached the ventilator stops.
This way electronic humidifiers can maintain a much more stable humidity level than passive humidifiers. Also, they typically will activate an alarm to notify when the moisture supply needs refilling, to prevent humidity drops. The accuracy of electronic humidifiers depends primarily on the integrated type of sensor; the capacitive type are preferred.
A humidor should never be exposed to direct sunlight. To discourage eggs of tobacco beetles from hatching and to prevent cigar rot, its internal temperature should be kept below 77 °F, as well as below 75% relative humidity. At temperatures below 54 °F, the desired aging process of the cigars is impaired, making storage in wine cellars problematic.
So, if you are looking for a great humidor that will take good care of your cigars, then you have to check out the inventory at Cuban Crafters. This site has so many cigars, humidors, and accessories that you won’t know where to even begin or to stop. Your cart will be full in no time. There are just so many great brands like Tony Alvarez, Padron, Camacho, Romeo Y Julieta, Davidoff & Monte Cristo that you will want to buy them all.
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