Have you ever tried to light up a cigar that just refuses to light? Or maybe you’ve started to smoke a cigar and found that it burns unevenly or produces far too much smoke? Has the cap cracked off when you tried to cut it? If any of these things happen, then the answer could be in its humidification; either too much or too little.
Why Is This Happening?
Humidification issues can be down to your own humidor or the shipping process. One of these you can fix, so check your humidor to see if it has too much or too little humidity. Recalibrate your hygrometer and refresh your humidification system if necessary. You may need to upgrade your humidification system or move your cigar selection to a bigger box.
Unfortunately, something you don’t have much control over is damage caused during the shipping process. Most cigars are being transported from factories in South America. Cigars that get shipped over quickly will be over humidified, while those that take ages to clear customs will be a little dried up. If your cigar retailer sells these cigars on before they have had a chance to adjust in a humidity-controlled environment, then the cigars may not be at their best for smoking. If your cigars show signs of being over or under humidified when they arrive, then let them rest in your humidor to try and acclimate them to the right levels.
Under Humidified Cigars
If a cigar is under humidified, that means it will be dry, without enough moisture content. It will feel brittle, and if you give it a squeeze, it will be hard. Because the cigar is dry and brittle, when you try and cut into the cap, it may crack, cause the wrapper to unravel or break during the smoke. As well as this, the dryness means that the cigar will burn far quicker than it should do, which can cause bitterness and a very unsatisfying smoke.
If your cigars are under humidified, then you need to pop them back into your humidor, ensuring it is at around 70 percent humidity. Unfortunately, you’ll have to leave your cigars to rest and get a bit moister for about a week or so.
Over Humidified Cigars
Over humidified will be too wet, making lighting hard and presenting a range of burn issues. Heated moisture produces steam, so burning an overly wet cigar can cause it to expand, which can break the wrapper and ruin the cigar.
To fix this, you’ll need to make your cigars drier, but there are definitely right and wrong ways to go about this. If you were to simply leave your cigar out in the sun for a few hours, then the wrapper will dry up, but the filler of the cigar will remain damp, causing the exterior of the cigar to burn faster than the core when it is lit. Like with under humidified cigars, the best way to rectify an over humidified stogie is to put it in your humidor, at the right humidity level, for a couple of weeks. This will allow the whole cigar to be equally humid. To speed up the drying out process a little, you can add some extra stripes of Spanish cedar lining to your humidor, as this works best to soak up excess moisture.
With both under and over humidified cigars, the key is patience, focussing on a gradual alteration of the humidity level in the cigar. This is because gaining or losing moisture too quickly can cause the cigar to expand or contract too fast, which can affect the construction of the cigar. Damage to the cigar’s structure will, again, affect the way it burns, and can destroy the cigar even more!
If you need to better your humidification system, then why not try a Boveda humidor pack?