Many inexperienced cigar enthusiasts wonder how to keep their cigars nice and fresh when stored. This is not an easy thing to do, and it is even more difficult if you do not have a proper humidor.
As a systems engineer and cigar lover, I challenged myself to create the best step by step guide on how to keep cigars fresh. By following it, you will ensure that your cigar collection maintains its flavor, aroma and overall freshness.
What You Will Need to Correctly Follow This Tutorial
In order to follow this step by step tutorial, you will need to use the following items:
- A hygrometer.
- Distilled water.
- A clean cloth
- A small sponge.
- Plastic wrapper.
- An ambient thermometer.
- A cigar humidor.
- A Ziploc bag.
- A Tupperware container or jar.
- A small standard cooler.
Step by Step Instructions For Keeping Cigars Fresh
By following these instructions, you will ensure that your cigars will maintain their freshness, flavor and texture for a prolonged period of time:
1. Store Them Properly
If you ask anyone who has had experience storing cigars, they will tell you that a humidor is, by far, the best way to go. However, that is not always a viable option. Luckily, there are various ways to store your cigars using materials that are more readily available. The following are three of the most effective techniques for doing so:
- Use a ziplock bag: If your cigar collection is not particularly huge at the moment, you can use a few common Ziploc bags and small sponges to keep it nice and fresh. First, place the cigars inside the bags. Next, wet the sponges and ring out all excess water. Remember, these sponges need to be damp and not soaking wet. Place one small sponge inside each bag next to the cigars. Seal the Ziplock bags tightly. Using this method, you will be able to keep your collection humid for several weeks at a time. Just for precaution, remember to check in on the cigars from time to time, making sure the sponges have not dried up. If they have, dampen them again and put them back in the Ziploc bags.
- Use a Tupperware container or jar: If you want to maintain your cigars fresh and protected for longer than you would by using a Ziploc bag, you would be well advised to use a Tupperware container or jar. Apart from providing more space than a Ziploc bag, a good Tupperware container can provide added protection from excessive temperature and other potentially harmful elements. To properly use this type of container, you should also put a damp sponge inside of it with the cigars. For better results, use distilled water as it prevents mold and ensures that your cigars will not come in contact with any unwanted chemicals.
- Use a small, standard cooler: Both previous options are good if you are planning on storing your cigars for a couple of months. If you want to store them for longer than that, however, the best non-humidor option would be using a small, standard cooler. Apart from being capable of holding a lot of cigars, a device of this kind will do a very good job of keeping the relative humidity at a stable level for prolonged periods of time.
2. Stack Them Properly
In order to help cigars maintain their freshness for long periods of time, you should consider stacking them properly when you store them. To do this, offset each row by putting each cigar in the space that’s created between the two cigars in the row below. By doing this, you will ensure that your cigars get enough airflow at all times. What is more, you can use this moment to clean and inspect your cigars, getting rid of debris and dust in the process.
3. Find the Perfect Relative Humidity
In the past, the golden rule for storing your cigars with the right amount of relative humidity was the 70-70 rule. As its name indicates, this rule established that the way to go was to store the cigars at 70 percent humidity and 70 degrees of temperature.
However, further research has shown that there is some flexibility in that rule. This is particularly true when it comes to relative humidity. In fact, you can store your cigars at a relative humidity of 62 to 72 degrees with little or no danger.
4. Mind the Room’s Temperature and Other Factors
As previously mentioned, the ideal temperature to store your cigars at is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, unless you have a thermostat, it is not easy to maintain the temperature inside a container at a specific degree.
5. Rotate Them On a Regular Basis
To ensure that your cigars will maintain their structural integrity, make sure to rotate them regularly. Typically, you should do it every four to six months. To do this, begin by emptying your humidor or container, carefully moving all the cigars out of it in order. Once the container is full, begin moving the cigars back into it. This time, however, place the cigars that used to be in the top row at the bottom of the container. Then, place the cigars that used to be at the bottom on the top.
6. Use a Humidor
While the previously described methods have been proven to be effective, there is nothing as effective for keeping your cigars fresh than using a good humidor. A humidor is an airtight box designed to maintain relative humidity levels at a stable and consistent level. To do this, a humidor employs different devices. Perhaps the most important one is the humidifying device.
This can come in the form of a sponge, floral foam, crystal gel, silica beads, humidipaks or an electronic humidifier. In addition to the humidifier, a good humidor has a hygrometer for monitoring the relative humidity inside the box at all times. Finally, a humidor should have a working thermostat for maintaining its internal temperature at the right temperature for prolonged periods of time.
Did you enjoy this tutorial? Being a cigar enthusiast myself, I tried really hard to make it as effective as possible without over-complicating things for inexperienced readers. Hopefully, following it closely will have positive results on your cigar collection and your life in general. Do you have any comments or questions? Leave them in the comment section below! If you liked this tutorial, please share this article with your friends and family!