Winter is coming, and with it comes a host of potential problems for cigar smokers. So, even though there’s nothing quite like lighting up a cigar on a cold winter’s evening, without the proper care and preparations, your stogies can go from glorious tobacco sticks to shrivelled leaves in a matter of days.
That’s why we’ve created this humidor winter care guide to help you keep your cigars happy through those long nights.
Winter Humidor Maintenance
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; the best place for you to store your cigars is in a humidor. This is the easiest and most consistent way for you to keep your cigars at the correct relative humidity level (65 – 72% RH) to ensure they remain in tip-top smoking condition.
That said, just like a car or a house, your humidor may require just a little more help during the winter months to keep things running smoothly.
Minimise Opening Times
The easiest way to make something go wrong with your humidor is to leave it open. They are designed to maintain a constant level of humidity within the confines of their container.
This means that any exposure to different temperatures (such as a cool winter’s evening) can cause your humidor’s humidity levels to fluctuate. If this happens too often, the result could be a collection of dry cigars that don’t smoke anywhere near as well as they should.
As a year-long rule, you should never leave your humidor open for prolonged periods of time. In the winter, when the air is chillier, try to keep the amount of times you open your humidor to a minimum to ensure the humidity inside can stay as consistent as possible.
Check Your Humidor
Try to check your humidor every two months to ensure that everything is working as it should. The key things to check are:
- Water levels – if your humidor is dry and needs a recharge, add some more distilled water to the humidification device.
- Air-tight seal – most humidors are made of wood, which expands and contracts along with external humidity, causing possible gaps in the seal. Try wiping the lip of the humidor with distilled water soaked into a cloth, to allow the wood to absorb it and swell.
- General function – you know your humidor, so you will be the first one to spot when things aren’t looking great. If it seems like the general functionality of your humidor has failed, why not treat yourself to an early (or late) Christmas present?
Can You Re-Humidify Cigars?
The main issue people find with winter is that it sucks the humidity out of everything. Hands, lips, cigars – anything can become dry and chapped in a matter of days. However, a dry cigar isn’t a lost cause and there are ways you can get them back to optimum smoking condition.
Re-Humidifying your Humidor
There are ways you can re-humidify your humidor to the optimum level, such as using Boveda Humidity Control packets. These are great for reinvigorating your humidor with the necessary humidity, so you can get it working as it should be again.
Humidity control packs are available in a variety of humidity levels and can be used in multiples so long as they’re working to the same RH percentage. However, they can work quickly, so we’d recommend introducing them one at a time.
The general rule of re-humidifying cigars is to be patient. These things take time, after all.
Start by introducing your cigars to humidity at a low level of 62%, and then gradually work your way up by 2-3% at a time until you reach the humidity of your choice. We’d recommended waiting a week before upping the humidity, but it really depends on the cigars and the damage done. Make sure that your cigars have adapted to the humidity level before you up it anymore and, in time, they’ll soften once more to the smoking standard.
We hope this guide helps you to keep your cigar collection in top condition all year round. If you’re looking to treat yourself, or the cigar lover in your life, this holiday season, why not check out our store where we have a vast variety of cigars and accessories available with free shipping on all UK orders over £50.