Cigar 101: Seasoning Your Humidor
Humidors are a very important part of every cigar smoker’s collection. Not only do they serve as a great place to keep cigars sorted and organized, but they also keep smokes fresh and great-tasting—even helping certain cigars to season, and taste better with age.
Getting a humidor ready to hold cigars isn’t hard, but if it’s your first time readying one for use, this short guide will help you through the process. Additionally, the guide contains several helpful tips and hints for maintaining your humidor after it’s up and running.
Read on to get all of the info necessary to season your humidor!
How to Season a Humidor
The first step to seasoning the humidor is to allow it enough time to truly absorb the water and solution, to assure that the humidity level stays balanced, and is effective for storing your precious cigars. Rushing things will cause the humidor to dry out, and removing the cigars to re-season, while they are stored elsewhere and in need of humidity, will be quite a pain. Generally speaking, about four days of moisturizing should be enough to get a humidor to the required humidity level.
Humidors should be moistened with distilled water only, as it provides the best filtration and pure, long-lasting humidity, that will remain balanced. If you’ve used another type of water, it’s not the end of the world; simply allow the humidor to dry out for about a week (lid or door entirely open), and then re-season. The humidification sponge, however, may function less effectively once it’s soaked with non-distilled water. If the sponge has taken a good amount of any other kind of water, consider purchasing a replacement online—they’re very affordable, and will play an integral part in keeping your humidor balanced.
Wipe the distilled water throughout the humidor’s wood evenly with a clean cloth, without allowing the water to stand or become overly abundant. The sponge should also be given a good dosage of the distilled water. Don’t feel the need to overdo the amount of water on any given day; a decent-sized amount of water to the sponge and wood, in the morning and at night (or once daily) will be fine.
Additionally, a 50/50 solution will greatly help to not only achieve the desired humidity level, but to maintain it. The difference in the humidity level stability after a few drops of the solution (depending on your humidor size) will be evident, and really make general maintenance much easier. The bottles of solution are long-lasting, as only a few drops are used at a time, and can be found for less than $10 (depending on the size) online or at your local cigar or smoke shop.
Introduce additional water regularly over the duration of the moisturizing, while adding 50/50 solution to the sponge as needed, and the desired humidity level will be achieved. Look to maintain a humidity level of 68-72%, to start; this assures that the cigars will be well-kept and maintained. However, many smokers prefer a level lower than 68%, to season the cigars to their liking. Experiment with various humidity levels (if you’re unhappy with the feel of the cigars) and find a level that works for you. For most smokers, somewhere in the 68-72% range will be fine, however.
As for the plastic wrappers of the cigars, whether or not to take them off or leave them on is entirely up to you. Experience is the best indication of one’s smoking preferences. Generally, though, you can expect cigars in their plastic to maintain their individual aroma better than those that are removed, which have more of a mixed scent to them. How this impacts the taste, in each respective situation, is probably best experienced by the smoker, once again.
There you have it! A simple, easy, and helpful guide to properly seasoning a humidor! The basics are all there, and the rest is generally self-explanatory: keep the humidity level at the desired percentage by adding more distilled water and/or 50/50 solution. After it’s seasoned, the humidor can be balanced out with a few drops of 50/50 solution on the sponge, generally. Be sure to give the liquid(s) a few hours, at least, to take effect and be recognized by the humidity gauge.
While the set-up is easy enough after it’s been explained, several less-obvious humidor tips that may be useful in maintenance are listed below. The short list of tips will help to improve your humidor and cigar experience, overall.
- Try not to leave your humidor exposed to direct sunlight, or in temperatures of less than 65 F, and more than 75 F or so; the humidity levels will be thrown off, and may become unstable.
- For a second opinion (and additional ease and accuracy), a digital thermometer and humidity measuring tool is a good thing to purchase. The tools can be bought for less than $10 online, and will display the exact numbers inside your humidor, both temperature and humidity. The temperature is especially useful, and the device is also helpful in checking faulty pre-installed humidity gauges.
- Buy a humidor with a lock! Many humidors will come pre-installed with a basic lock and key, but you should seek one out with the feature if you have yet to purchase a humidor, or are in the market for another. There’s nothing worse than having someone fumble through your cigars!
Now that your humidor is seasoned, you’ll be enjoying fresh cigars for a long time to come!
Tags: Cigar 101, Humidor, Humidor Care
Categorised in: Cigar 101