How do I get my humidor ready for use?
1. The first task is to ďSeasonĒ your humidor. Soak a new dish sponge in distilled water and wipe down the entire cedar interior. Apply the water liberally as this will Ďkick-startí the humidor into properly humidifying your cigars. Let the cedar dry for only a couple of minutes so that you do not lay your cigars on a wet surface.
2. Remove the humidifier(s) from its Velcro backing and fill with humidification solution approximately half way. This solution will prevent extreme peaks and valleys of humidity from occurring in your humidor. It will also double the time in which the humidifier(s) need to be refilled.
3. Submerge the humidifier(s) into a container holding enough distilled water to completely cover the humidifier. Leave it submerged for at least 5-10 minutes.
4. Remove, shake off and wipe excess water away and place into your humidor.
5. Your humidity level should be at approximately 70%. Do not be overly meticulous about this. Anywhere between 65-75% humidity is acceptable.
6. Refill the humidifier once humidity falls below 60-65%.
7. Put your cigars in the humidor, and thatís it, your humidor is now ready!
Why canít I get my humidity level up to 70%?
This is the most common problem with humidors, and most of it can be attributed to dry weather or lack of proper humidification. There are several reasons why this may be happening.
1. Your humidifier is too small for our dry climate. To remedy this, simple add in another humidifier. This is the problem about 95% of the time.
2. Certain humidifiers take in water more easily than others. This can be resolved by submerging your humidifier for closer to 30 minutes and in a deeper container. This will exert more water pressure on your humidifier-forcing more water into it.
3. Sometimes, the humidity level is just fine, but the hygrometer is lying to you. This is because analog hygrometers (those that come stock) are only accurate to +/- 10% Relative Humidity, whereas a digital hygrometer will be accurate to within +/- 2%. By replacing your analog hygrometer with a digital hygrometer, you will get accurate humidity readings.
Do I keep the cellophane wrappers on when I store my cigars?
No, you should remove your cigars from their packaging. While cellophane wrappers and aluminum tubes are great for protecting your cigars while you travel, they need to be removed when your cigars are in your humidor. Leaving the cellophane on will prevent the humidity from reaching your cigars and they will slowly dry up.
How should I store my cigars in my humidor?
Your cigars need to be removed from their cellophane wrappers and aluminum tubes to ensure proper humidification and you should make it a habit of rotating them as well. If you store a good number of cigars in your humidor, you will need to make sure to bring the cigars on the bottom to the top. Humidity has a way of not reaching very far, so you will need to do this every month or so.
Is there a right or wrong way to smoke a cigar?
Not really, it actually depends on how you like your cigar to taste. If you prefer your cigars to taste mild, try smoking it slowly, taking a puff or two every 20 seconds or so. By puffing less frequently, you draw less heat through the cigar, keeping the temperature of the cigar low. This prevents the tars from becoming very apparent and settling on your palate. If on the other hand you like a full-bodied, spicy cigar, do the opposite and puff more frequently. This will raise the temperature of the cigar and will release more of the tars, which we often interpret as a sort of spiciness.
What kind of cutter is the best?
This is purely subjective. The punch cutter seems to be the easiest to use. It also makes the cleanest cut. The guillotine cutter works just fine, though by cutting across the head of the cigar, you are destroying what essentially holds the entire cigar together. The head is where rollers finish off the cigar. This is why guillotines can cause a severe fraying or unraveling of your cigar. Punch cutters will avoid this. But if you want to smoke a torpedo cigar, then the guillotine is your only choice. The other option is the V-Cutter. Donít waste your time buying a cheap V-cutter as they will only mangle your cigar. The more expensive ones will work fine, but you will notice as you smoke your cigar that the tip will soak up a bit of moisture from your saliva. When this happens, the tip will slowly deform into a big mess. Stick with the guillotine or the punch cutter.
How do I cut my cigar properly with a punch cutter?
The punch cutter, also known as a bullet cutter, is the easiest way to cut a cigar. Invest in a sharp one as it will only make your life easier. To cut your cigar with a punch cutter, just gently push and twist the circular blade until it is about an 1/8th of inch deep and then pull it out. If you like a larger opening, you have two options. You can use the Metamorpho punch cutter that comes with 3 different size cutter built into one, or you can use your regular punch cutter and make as many overlapping cuts as you like. Typically two or three is the most you will need. Just remember that punch cutters wonít work on torpedo cigars.
How do I cut my cigar properly with a guillotine cutter?
The guillotine cutter can truly require some level of skill if you want to cut your cigars the proper way. The intended way to cut your cigar with a guillotine cutter is not to take the whole cap off at a 90 degree angle. Rather, you should leave about half of the curve of the cigar intact. Also, you should not cut all the way through the cap. Start by piercing the tobacco on the cap and then slowly rotate the cigar until you remove the cap. This should be done very carefully. By doing this you can get away with not destroying the construction of the cigar, as the cap is where cigars are finished off. This is not to say that you cannot cut the entire cap off at a 90 degree angle. The bottom line is if thatís what you like, who am I to stop you?
Can I rehumidify dried out cigars?
You can do whatever you set your mind to.
Yes. You can rehumidify cigars that have gone dry. The key to rehumidifying dry cigars is to take the process very slowly. Many people try to 'quick-fix' the situation by over humidifying them in 80-90% humidity, causing the cigar to soak in the humidity too quickly and rupture. It is crucial that this process be a slow one. Start with a 60% environment for a few days, followed by 65% for a few more days, and then finally let it rest at 70% for another few days. The whole process should take at least 2 weeks for the cigar to be ready. Cigars that have been dry for a month or less are a perfect candidate for this. Cigars that have been dry for much longer than this can be problematic because their oils have dried out as well. These cigars can be rehumidified, but they may taste harsh. However, if you're lucky, they may taste just fine!