09 July 2012

Cigar Humidors

Cigar HumidorCigar humidors are cigar boxes or cases that remain at a particular humidity, these come with a hygrometer to keep track of the humidity levels. They can also been room or cabinet sized, in order to store cigars en-masse.

Regular or semi regular smokers often keep a small humidifier in their homes which can be known as a ‘Desktop Humidor’, these can contain 20 – 75 cigars. There is also the ‘Travel Humidor’ which is a small case that carries 2 – 10 cigars, these are useful for carrying cigars from place to place, so someone can smoke on the go. 

Cigar humidors are typically constructed on wood board; however there are other materials that can be used such as acrylic glass and metal which are not uncommon. Carbon fiber, silicon carbide and polyethylene can also be used, albeit less commonly. The casing needs to be that of a material that will protect the interior and construct an enclosed environment, any durable and airtight material can be used. Spanish-cedar is often used for the interior because it holds moisture, it imparts its aroma to cigars, it repels tobacco beetles and is not prone to warping from the high moisture levels.

Humidors should be kept below 25°C and above 12°C to both discourage the spread of tobacco beetles and the impairing of cigars respectively. There are different methods of maintaining the passive humidor effect, the use of a 50/50 solution of distilled water and propylene glycol. Distilled water can also be used on its own due to its stability and lack of bacteria, minerals or additives. Another way is the use of electronic humidifiers, while they are mainly used for very large humidors, upon a certain humidity detected, vapor is blown into the humidor, once the intended humidity is reached the humidifier is shut off. Silica gel beads is another alternative, these have a buffer effect of relative humidity and when in use and moistened when necessary, can absorb or release humidity at RH 50%. Silia is also commonly used to keep moisture from containers and packaging, and when used for humidors it is often calibrated by additional coating of mineral salts. Overall humidors are a must for any cigar enthusiast.