Humidor


 

A Humidor is a simple apparatus used to store cigars at the ideal humidity of approximately 70%

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Oasis is the small water reservoir within the humidor. It usually consists of  a small frame containing sponge-like absorbent material ( like the material typically used in wet floral arrangements  ) and is usually attached to the inside lid of the humidor by a velcro material. The oasis can be removed from the humidor, and is usually refilled with distilled water by a water dropper.  

 

 

 

 

 

A Hygrometer is a gauge used to measure the humidity inside the humidor. It is usually attached to the inside lid of the humidor by a velcro material






If a few simple procedures are adhered to, a new humidor should settle in quickly, and give many years of service with little maintenance.

 DISTILLED WATER

We recommend that distilled water be used in all humidors. If ordinary tap water is used, minerals will be left as residue in the oasis material over a period of time. This will have the effect of " clogging up " and reducing the effective evaporative surface area of the oasis.

A HUMIDOR BREATHES 

This simply means that when the humidor reaches the ideal humidity reading, it  must loose the equal amount of water vapour ( by way of convection ) that is being evaporated from the oasis inside the humidor. 

CURING THE HUMIDOR

When the oasis is first filled with distilled water and introduced into the humidor, the humidity will not immediately rise to the ideal humidity. The water vapour is initially being absorbed by the inside walls, and the lining of the humidor. During this period ( which can sometimes take up to 21 days ) the oasis is working overtime and will probably need to be refilled every couple of days. When the inside walls of the humidor are saturated, it will only take a short time for the humidor to settle down and percolate along at the ideal humidity. We do not suggest wetting down the walls of the humidor to hurry the curing process along. This can sometimes have the effect of over-humidifying the unit, which can cause mould. 

OVER HUMIDIFICATION

If the humidor becomes over humidified for any reason, it is just a simple matter of leaving the oasis outside the confines of the humidor until the humidity is reduced. Sometimes an extended rainy season can cause the outside humidity to rise above 70%. If the humidor is opened frequently during this period, it will cause the inside air of the humidor  to be replaced by the more humid outside air. If a humidor ( with the lid open ) is held in front of a fan, the inside air will be quickly de-humidified.

AIR-CONDITIONING

No humidor is a completely sealed unit. Air-conditioning will soon suck the humid air from a humidor, and replace it with de- humidified air. If your humidor is to be kept in air-conditioned surroundings it is recommended that the humidor be covered by a damp towel, and the hygrometer checked regularly, as the oasis will use a lot more water, having to continually re-humidify the air. 

PROPYLENE GLYCOL

Propylene glycol  has the properties to control humidity in an inclosed environment. If Propylene Glycol and water are mixed,  Propylene Glycol will act as a barrier.  Water vapour will be - released if the humidity falls below 70% - and absorbed if the humidity rises above 70% A litre of Propylene Glycol can be purchased at your local chemist for around the $5 mark, and is extremely useful for situations where the PG can react with the water to perform it's magic qualities, but is more than useless where the solution is being introduced into the absorbent foam like material of the oasis. The only effect it will have, is to clog up the oasis as the water evaporates. The magic-like properties of Propylene Glycol can be used in many humidification applications, but we do not recommend that PG be used in any humidor where the humidity is being regulated by an oasis.

STORING CIGARS

Put a drop of water on the wrapper of a cigar and after a minute, it'll soak right in to your stogie! The essential oils which give a cigar its taste travel just this readily from layer to layer, cigar to cigar. Just as the humidity will stabilize in a closed box, the essential oils of the cigars will eventually migrate and stabilise. The wrapper is just another leaf. Vapours and oils migrate through this layer as quickly as they travel from any adjacent leaves  Marrying can be good or bad. If your humidor is full of the same (or very similar) types of smokes, it will guarantee a consistent smoke. If you inter-mix mild or spicy blends with strong or earthy blends, the mixing is quite noticeable. This is why you should consider leaving the cello on when mixing a broad range of cigars in one humidor (or removing it if they're all the same).  Aging cigars,  involves very complex chemical processes. Oxidation, slow chemical changes, blending of essential oils are all involved. If you age a number of similar cigars, then removing the wrappers will allow different cigars to "marry", resulting in more consistence from one to another.Keeping the cello on  slows down the transfer of humidity. Your stored cigars remain stable - even with opening and closing the humidor frequently. You'll notice that the end of the cello is never sealed, it's just folded over. This allows the ambient humidity to slowly infiltrate the cigar. It also protects them from transferring problem like mould.. Now, if you're only keeping one or two similar brands in your humidor, you might consider unwrapping them - just so the flavours "marry". This will produce better consistency from cigar to cigar. Cigars can remain   "green"  untill the blends marry sufficiently. Some of this transfer is by smell (airborne ethers), but much of it is caused by direct contact - transfers of "essential oils" in the cigar's tobacco. These oils migrate through the cigar and can be transferred readily. 

BLOOM

Bloom refers to the slow rising of "essential oils" to the surface of a cigar. It first shows up as tiny (almost microscopic) crystals on the surface, and can eventually make a cigar look slightly "dusty" with a whitish finish on the surface. Not only is it harmless, some prefer to see a little bloom, as an indication of strong taste. 

MOULD

Mould  is  a fungus, growing on overly humidified stogies. It is recognized as white, gray, or blue-green "fuzzy patches" with a definite dimension to them. Mould spreads by spores, so it's important to get rid of any mouldy cigars immediately, before they contaminate your other cigars or the mould gets into the wood of your humidor. Mould can appear when the RH passes 85%.