Cigars need to have the correct moisture content to burn properly. Dry cigars will smoke quickly and taste burnt; overly moist cigars will not stay lit. Either way, the taste of a good cigar is ruined. Cigar box humidors solve this problem by keeping cigars at the correct humidity. A cigar box humidor needs to be prepared before it can be used to house cigars. Once set up, you should check the box's humidity level periodically and adjust the moisture level as needed.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Cigar box humidor with hygrometer and passive humidifier
- Distilled water
- Propylene glycol
- Small bowl
- Small plate
- Clean cloth
- Drinking glass or bowl, short enough to fit inside closed cigar box humidor
- Cedar strips
Remove the hygrometer from the cigar box.
Dip a clean washrag in distilled water. Wring out the washrag to remove excess water, leaving the washrag well-moistened.
Set the hygrometer on the damp washrag. Wrap the damp washrag around the hygrometer and set it aside for one hour.
Remove the hygrometer from the damp washrag. Use a screwdriver to adjust the screw at the back of the hygrometer to set it to 96 per cent relative humidity.
Place the hygrometer in the cigar box.
Mix 1/2-cup distilled water and 1/2-cup propylene glycol in a small bowl. If you have an acryl polymer humidifier, rather than the sponge style, pour 1 cup distilled water in a bowl.
Set the humidifier on a plate and pour the liquid over the humidifier until it is saturated. Set aside for one hour.
Lift the humidifier from the plate, allowing excess liquid to drain. Use a clean, dry cloth to dry the outside of the humidifier.
Place the humidifier in the cigar box.
Moisten a clean cloth with distilled water.
Wipe down the inside of the cigar box with the damp cloth.
Pour 1 cup distilled water into a clean glass. Place the glass in the cigar box and close the lid. Set aside for three days.
Remove the glass of water.
Place cigars in the prepared cigar box once the hygrometer reads between 65 and 75 per cent relative humidity. If, after three days, the hygrometer is still above 75 per cent humidity, open the lid for an hour at a time until the humidity is brought down to 75 per cent. If the humidity is less than 65 per cent, leave the glass of water in the cigar box longer than three days to bring the humidity up to 65 per cent.
Place the box in a cool area. The ideal temperature for storing cigars is between 17.8 and 21.1 degrees Celsius.
Open the lid to the humidor once every two weeks to provide fresh air to the cigars. Check the humidity level at this time. If the humidity is high, place cedar strips inside the box. Place one on the bottom, one in the middle and one on top. Remove the strips when the humidity reaches the correct level. If the humidity is low, add distilled water to the humidifier.
Place a matchstick or other small object under the lid of the cigar box humidor to allow air to reach the cigars if the box will not be opened for long periods.
Refill the humidifier with distilled water about once a month. Refilling the humidifier depends on factors such as the outside temperature, the external humidity, how many cigars are in the box and how often you open the box.
Recalibrate the hygrometer once a year, or according to the schedule supplied with your hygrometer.
Tips and warnings
- Cigar boxes with active humidifiers (rather than passive) rely on electronic gauges to determine the humidity level and raise the humidity level automatically. Prepare active humidifiers according to manufacturer's directions.
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