Any neophyte that you are, you have no doubt heard of the expression " Cigarette Cellar " and you know that it plays a key role in the preservation of your cigars .
But, do you know how it works ?
First of all, what is it for?
The first answer that comes to mind is simple: a humidor is used to store cigars.
But in fact, it is much more than a simple box!
Indeed, a cellar acts as a microcosm, with its own atmosphere and its own environment in order to create an ideal environment for the preservation and storage of your cigars. Control
It is via ultra-precise control of temperature and humidity level from inside the box, that will be ensured the good preservation of your cigars.
Maintaining constant rates is important in order to preserve your cigars without over-wetting or over-drying them.
If the gauge leans to one side or the other, the taste of the cigar will be negatively affected.
This is why it is important to carry out this temperature and humidity control, so that your cigars keep their delicious and unique taste.
The impact of humidity on your cigars.
Cigars are made from tobacco leaves. These will be affected by the relative humidity of the air around them.
Too dry , they shrivel up and their flavors and aromas deteriorate. Worse, a lack of moisture will cause them to burn too hot, making them difficult to smoke properly.
Too wet , the impact will be double. Cigars will naturally expand, and this excessive humidity level risks damaging your cellar: mould, rot or even tobacco beetle infestation.
A cigar humidor, but with these accessories!
To maintain good storage conditions in your cellar, several components must be combined:
- A Spanish cedar wood cellar
- A humidifier
- A hygrometer
- spanish cedar
The majority of cigar boxes have a Spanish cedar wood lining And it is not a hazard. Indeed, this wood has the particularity of being a natural humidity regulator thanks to its properties of absorption and slow release of humidity. It is one of the essential components for maintaining proper humidity levels inside the humidor . Thus, if this rate is too high, the cedar wood will absorb the excess moisture . Conversely, if the environment dries out, it will release moisture. In either case, the goal is to maintain the correct balance of humidity for optimal storage of your cigars.
This is why it is very important to season your cigar cellar before storing your cigars in it, otherwise the cedar will absorb the humidity of the cigars themselves.
This seasoning operation being important, we invite you to consult our dedicated articles before any first use: “ How to properly prepare a cigar humidor? »
2. The Humidifier, what?
It is the main accessory used to maintain humidity in the cellar. After being properly prepared, during the seasoning stage and then filled with cigars, the humidor will be the humidity supplier main of your cellar.
This is why it will be necessary to regularly check it and fill it if necessary with demineralized water so that your cigars remain fleshy and burn slowly.
There is a wide variety of humidifiers:
- Sponges: This is the “historic” and oldest humidification system. However, it requires more regular maintenance because it increases the risk of bacterial contamination. This is why it is essential to moisten it with distilled water or with a solution of propylene glycol (50% distilled water/50% propylene glycol).
- Floral foam: You have all seen it before, it is these blocks of green foam that are used to hold the flower stems in the bouquets. They have the particularity of retaining a lot of water and releasing it gradually. Be careful, they also absorb cigar aromas, which is why it will have to be replaced at least once a year.
- Crystal Gel: Presented in the form of small pearls, this gel has been specially designed for the preservation of cigars. Capable of retaining up to 500 times its weight in water and pre-treated with propylene glycol, this water will be released into the air of your humidor to maintain the correct level of humidity. The preparation of the gel is easy, just soak it in distilled water to activate it (Act to be renewed every 2 to 4 weeks). Lifespan: between one and two years, after which it will have to be replaced.
- Silica Beads: It's a product of everyday life that we don't even see anymore. These beads are the ones you find in your little paper bags when you buy shoes, furniture... Capable of retaining up to 40 times their weight in water, they have properties similar to those of wood. of Spanish cedars. They can absorb but also reject moisture. Like all humidifiers, they activate with distilled water and recharge every 2-4 weeks. Extra-long lifespan: between three and six years, after which they will have to be replaced.
- Humidipak: This is the Nespresso capsule of the humidifier, all ready it comes in the form of a mixture of water and salt wrapped in a membrane with bidirectional action (rejection and absorption). Like coffee capsules, there is the possibility of choosing its package according to the humidity level.
Shelf life: 2 to 3 months.
- Electronic humidifier: Technology is everywhere, even in this ancestral art of cigar preservation. Sensory humidity sensor, triggering an electronic release, this is the must of the humidifier. It needs to be recharged monthly with distilled water. Theoretical lifespan: immortal.
Whichever version you choose, you will need to follow the instructions carefully in order to correctly determine the distilled water refill or complete replacement times.
3. The Hygrometer, what?
It is the last essential element of any self-respecting cigar humidor. It comes in addition to the humidifier, since it is he who will measure the humidity level . It is therefore he who will worry you exactly when to recharge the humidifier and thus maintain an optimal humidity (between 65% and 75%).
There are two types of hygrometer:
- Analog: it will take on the appearance of a hand turning in a dial.
- Digital : in a cellar equipped with an electronic humidifier, it will be connected to the hygrometer.
A few tips for a well-regulated cellar:
- Be sure to check your hygrometer's display regularly to ensure that the humidity in the air remains at the correct level (between 65% and 75%).
- And to be sure that the rate is the right one, calibrate your hygrometer from time to time, to maintain good accuracy of your instrument.
Now that you are an expert on humidors, do not hesitate to get one from our large collection of Humidors .