Humidor

Last updated
Humidor with hygrometer and bowl of water during initial seasoning. Humidor Vorbereitung.jpg
Humidor with hygrometer and bowl of water during initial seasoning.
Humidor with cigars Humidor.jpg
Humidor with cigars

A humidor is a humidity-controlled box or room used primarily for storing cigars, cigarettes, cannabis, or pipe tobacco. Either too much or too little humidity can be harmful to tobacco products; a humidor's primary function is to maintain a steady, desirable moisture level inside; secondarily it protects its contents from physical damage and deterioration from sunlight. For private use, small wooden boxes holding a few dozen or fewer cigars are common, while cigar shops may have walk-in humidors. Many humidors use hygrometers to monitor their humidity levels.

Contents

Another use for a humidor is controlling the moisture level in a baseball, which can have a pronounced effect on its response when hit with a baseball bat. This phenomenon was so great that in order to put an end to much controversy, in 2002, nine years after joining the league, the Colorado Rockies started storing their game balls in a large walk-in humidor at their home stadium, [1] thus counteracting the effects of the low humidity due mainly to Denver's famous mile-high altitude of around 5,280 feet above sea level. After the change, various offensive and defensive statistics at Rockies home games, especially the number of home runs, were found to be more in line with the rest of the league. In 2018 the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose Phoenix home field is affected by the arid Sonoran Desert climate, became the second Major League Baseball team to use a humidor. [2]

Types

Walk-in

Most common in cigar bars or stores. [3] One room is built as or converted to a humidor where all the cigars are stored.

Cabinet

Usually placed on the floor as a piece of furniture. [4] It typically holds 1000–5000 cigars. A cabinet humidor is considered a good option for deep storage. [4]

Desktop

The most common type of humidor. Typically box sized with lid on top or with one or more drawers. Vary in size from 25–500 cigars capacity. Zino Davidoff is credited as the inventor of the desktop humidor. [5]

Travel

Portable, usually holding 2 to 20 cigars. Travel humidors must be especially durable and stand up to repeated openings. [6]

Cannabis

Typically box sized that maintains 62% humidity level. [7]

Electric

Similar to cabinet humidors, these are fully electronically controlled humidors and function similarly to a fridge. [8]

Construction

Commercially made humidor cases are typically made of wood, although materials such as acrylic, glass, and metal are also used. Carbon fibre, silicon carbide, and polyethylene are rare. Aside from pleasing aesthetics, the casing's purpose is to protect the interior and create a closed environment, so any durable and airtight material can be used.

The interior is typically a veneer of Spanish cedar, [9] a traditional material which possesses several desirable characteristics for cigar storage:

  1. It holds more moisture than most woods, so it helps maintain humidity.
  2. It is not prone to warping or cupping in high humidity.
  3. It imparts its aroma to cigars. For the same reason, some cigars are wrapped in Spanish-cedar sheets before they are sold.
  4. It can repel tobacco beetles, pinhead-sized pests which can ruin entire stocks of cigars by eating the tobacco and laying eggs, causing further infestation. They can also be discouraged by ensuring the humidor does not get hotter than 20 °C (68 °F). [10] The beetle eggs usually only hatch at around 25 °C (77 °F)[ citation needed ], although there are also instances where they will hatch at cooler temperatures if the humidity is too high.

Humidors are typically commercially produced, though most walk-ins are custom built and some humidors are homemade. [11] They range considerably in material, size and complexity. Capacity is determined by deducting the space required for the humidification element and some extra room between the element and the cigars. It can also be calculated online for the most popular cigar formats. [12] A list of the best current Humidors has been compiled here [13]

Maintenance

A humidor needs to be seasoned when new or having been out of use for a while. [14] Wood in an unseasoned humidor will absorb moisture from within, drying stored cigars out. The preferred technique for bringing the wood close to an optimal relative humidity level where it will buffer moisture is placing a small container of distilled water inside the humidor for 1 to 3 days.[ citation needed ]

Humidity

Some humidors contain a permanent humidifying system which keeps the air moist, which in turn keeps the cigars moist. Without a humidor, within 2 to 3 days, cigars will quickly lose moisture and level up with the general humidity around them. [15] The ideal relative humidity in a humidor is around 68–72%. [16] Though it can vary slightly depending on the cigar smoker's preferences, it should never go higher than 75%[ citation needed ] due to the possibility of hatching tobacco beetles. The more empty space, the more readily the humidity level of the box will fluctuate.

Most humidifying elements are passive, releasing stored humidity through evaporation and diffusion. The use of a 50/50 solution of propylene glycol and distilled water is recommended for replenishing the passive humidifying element, as it has a buffering effect on air humidity, maintaining it at approximately 70%. [17] Retailers and manufacturers claim propylene glycol also has mild antifungal and antibacterial properties; distilled water should always be used, due to its lack of minerals, additives, or bacteria.

Electronic humidifiers are also available, although usually reserved for very large humidors.[ citation needed ] A sensor measures the outside humidity and then activates a ventilator, which blows air over a humid sponge or water tank into the humidor. Once the preset humidity level has been reached the ventilator stops. This way electronic humidifiers can maintain a much more stable humidity level than passive humidifiers. Also they typically will activate an alarm to notify when the moisture supply needs refilling, to prevent humidity drops. The accuracy of electronic humidifiers depends primarily on the integrated type of sensor; the capacitive type are preferred.

Silica gel beads, familiar for removing moisture from packaging containers, are a third alternative. [18] These are "calibrated" with a coating of mineral salts to absorb or release humidity in various RH ranges (including 65%, 68%, 70%, and 72%), providing a buffering effect on relative humidity. They require only distilled water when necessary, and can be ruined by propylene glycol.

Most humidors contain a hygrometer which is a device that can measure the humidity of the environment. Whether analogue or digital, these hygrometers can be used to measure the levels of humidity inside the humidor. [19] Regardless, digital hygrometers tend to be more accurate when compared to the analogue ones.

Temperature

A humidor should never be exposed to direct sunlight. [20] To discourage eggs of tobacco beetles from hatching and to prevent cigar rot, its internal temperature should be kept below 25 °C (77 °F)[ citation needed ], as well as below 75%[ citation needed ] relative humidity. At temperatures below 12 °C (54 °F), the desired ageing process of the cigars is impaired, making storage in wine cellars problematic.

See also

Related Research Articles

Cigar A rolled bundle of tobacco

A cigar is a rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaves made to be smoked. Cigars are produced in a variety of sizes and shapes. Since the 20th century, almost all cigars are made of three distinct components: the filler, the binder leaf which holds the filler together, and a wrapper leaf, which is often the best leaf used. Often there will be a cigar band printed with the cigar manufacturer's logo. Modern cigars often come with two bands, especially Cuban Cigar bands, showing Limited Edition bands displaying the year of production.

Humidity Amount of water vapor in the air.

Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in the air. Water vapor, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood for precipitation, dew, or fog to be present.

Distilled water

Distilled water is water that has been boiled into vapor and condensed back into liquid in a separate container. Impurities in the original water that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original container. Therefore, distilled water is one type of purified water.

Propylene glycol

Propylene glycol (IUPAC name: propane-1,2-diol) is a viscous, colorless liquid, which is nearly odorless but possesses a faintly sweet taste. Its chemical formula is CH3CH(OH)CH2OH. Containing two alcohol groups, it is classed as a diol. It is miscible with a broad range of solvents, including water, acetone, and chloroform. In general, glycols are non-irritating and have very low volatility.

Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance which reduces and maintains the level of humidity in the air, usually for health or comfort reasons, or to eliminate musty odor and to prevent the growth of mildew by extracting water from the air. It can be used for household, commercial, or industrial applications. Large dehumidifiers are used in commercial buildings such as indoor ice rinks and swimming pools, as well as manufacturing plants or storage warehouses.

Hygrometer Instrument used for measuring the moisture content in the atmosphere

A hygrometer is an instrument used to measure the amount of water vapor in air, in soil, or in confined spaces. Humidity measurement instruments usually rely on measurements of some other quantities such as temperature, pressure, mass, a mechanical or electrical change in a substance as moisture is absorbed. By calibration and calculation, these measured quantities can lead to a measurement of humidity. Modern electronic devices use temperature of condensation, or changes in electrical capacitance or resistance to measure humidity differences. The first crude hygrometer was invented by the Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci in 1480. Major leaps forward came during the 1600s; Francesco Folli invented a more practical version of the device, while Robert Hooke improved a number of meteorological devices including the hygrometer. A more modern version was created by Swiss polymath Johann Heinrich Lambert in 1755. Later, in the year 1783, Swiss physicist and Geologist Horace Bénédict de Saussure invented the first hygrometer using human hair to measure humidity.

Antifreeze Coolant additive which reduces the freezing point of water

An antifreeze is an additive which lowers the freezing point of a water-based liquid. An antifreeze mixture is used to achieve freezing-point depression for cold environments. Common antifreezes also increase the boiling point of the liquid, allowing higher coolant temperature.

A dry box is a storage container in which the interior is kept at a low level of humidity. It may be as simple as an airtight and watertight enclosure, or it may use active means to remove water vapor from the air trapped inside.

A humectant is a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moist. They are used in many products, including food, cosmetics, medicines and pesticides. When used as a food additive, a humectant has the effect of keeping moisture in the food. Humectants are sometimes used as a component of antistatic coatings for plastics.

Humidifier

A humidifier is a device, primarily an electrical appliance, that increases humidity (moisture) in a single room or an entire building. In the home, point-of-use humidifiers are commonly used to humidify a single room, while whole-house or furnace humidifiers, which connect to a home's HVAC system, provide humidity to the entire house. Medical ventilators often include humidifiers for increased patient comfort. Large humidifiers are used in commercial, institutional, or industrial contexts, often as part of a larger HVAC system.

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic brake and hydraulic clutch applications in automobiles, motorcycles, light trucks, and some bicycles. It is used to transfer force into pressure, and to amplify braking force. It works because liquids are not appreciably compressible.

Ground deicing of aircraft is commonly performed in both commercial and general aviation. The fluids used in this operation are called deicing or anti-icing fluids. The initials ADF, ADAF or AAF are commonly used.

Tobacconist

A tobacconist, also called a tobacco shop, a "tobacconist's shop" or a smoke shop, is a retailer of tobacco products in various forms and the related accoutrements, such as pipes, lighters, matches, pipe cleaners, pipe tampers. More specialized retailers might sell: ashtrays, humidification devices, hygrometers, humidors, cigar cutters, and more. Books and magazines, especially ones related to tobacco are commonly offered. Items irrelevant to tobacco such as puzzles, games, figurines, hip flasks, walking sticks, and confectionery are sometimes sold. In the United States, a tobacconist shop is traditionally represented by a wooden Indian positioned nearby. Most retailers of tobacco sell other types of product; today supermarkets, in many countries with a special counter, are usually the main sellers of the common brands of cigarette. In the United Kingdom, a common combination in small corner shops has been a newsagent selling newspapers and magazines, as well as confectionery and tobacco. In UK retailing this sector is referred to as "CONTOB".

Humidity buffering refers to the ability of materials to moderate changes in relative humidity by absorbing and desorbing water vapour from surrounding air. This is also referred to as moisture buffering.

Charters of Freedom Collective term for the U.S. Bill of Rights, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence

The term Charters of Freedom is used to describe the three documents in early American history which are considered instrumental to its founding and philosophy. These documents are the United States Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. While the term has not entered particularly common usage, the room at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. that houses the three documents is called the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.

Conservation and restoration of parchment

The conservation and restoration of parchment constitutes the care and treatment of parchment materials which have cultural and historical significance. Typically undertaken by professional book and document conservators, this process can include preventive measures which protect against future deterioration as well as specific treatments to alleviate changes already caused by agents of deterioration.

Water activity

Water activity (aw) is the partial vapor pressure of water in a solution divided by the standard state partial vapor pressure of water. In the field of food science, the standard state is most often defined as the partial vapor pressure of pure water at the same temperature. Using this particular definition, pure distilled water has a water activity of exactly one. As temperature increases, aw typically increases, except in some products with crystalline salt or sugar.

Boveda (company)

Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Boveda is the global leader in 2-way humidity control for cigars, medical cannabis and wood instruments. Boveda’s natural, food-grade salts are the brains that know when to absorb and when to release purified water vapor. It’s why you’ll only find Boveda in the cigar boxes of leading cigar makers and the packaging of the biggest cannabis brands. Boveda's product line includes humidity control packs, CVault® containers, hygrometer calibration kits, a variety of cigar humidors and many more products to ensure precise humidity control for wood instruments, food storage, cigar storage and cannabis storage.

Toscano (cigar)

The Toscano cigar is the original Italian cigar manufactured in Tuscany, Italy. It is made of high-quality fermented Kentucky tobacco. Founded in the early 19th century, the Toscano cigar is rich in history, tradition and heritage. It is an established brand in Italy and is also well known in Switzerland and Austria.

Construction of electronic cigarettes

An electronic cigarette is a handheld battery-powered vaporizer that simulates smoking, but without tobacco combustion. E-cigarette components include a mouthpiece, a cartridge, a heating element/atomizer, a microprocessor, a battery, and some of them have an LED light on the end. An exception to this are mechanical e-cigarettes (mods) which contain no electronics and the circuit is closed by using a mechanical action switch. An atomizer consists of a small heating element, or coil, that vaporizes e-liquid and a wicking material that draws liquid onto the coil. When the user inhales a flow sensor activates the heating element that atomizes the liquid solution; most devices are manually activated by a push-button. The e-liquid reaches a temperature of roughly 100–250 °C (212–482 °F) within a chamber to create an aerosolized vapor. The user inhales an aerosol, which is commonly but inaccurately called vapor, rather than cigarette smoke. Vaping is different than smoking, but there are some similarities, including the hand-to-mouth action of smoking and a vapor that looks like cigarette smoke. The aerosol provides a flavor and feel similar to tobacco smoking. A traditional cigarette is smooth and light but an e-cigarette is rigid, cold and slightly heavier. There is a learning curve to use e-cigarettes properly. E-cigarettes are cigarette-shaped, and there are many other variations. E-cigarettes that resemble pens or USB memory sticks are also sold that may be used unobtrusively.

References

  1. Fox, Stuart (November 7, 2008). "Why Do the Colorado Rockies Keep Their Baseballs in a Humidor?". Popular Science . Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  2. Verducci, Tom (February 23, 2018). "MLB to Mandate That Baseballs Are Stored in Air Conditioned Room for 2018". Sports Illustrated . Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  3. Carleton Hacker, Richard (April 26, 2019). "Vegas Was Made for Cigars: Here Are the 7 Best Spots to Smoke 'Em". Robb Report . Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  4. 1 2 Nagy, Andrew; Droesch, Blake (October 15, 2015). "Five Tips For Building a Cigar-Friendly Man Cave". Cigar Aficionado . Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  5. Verma Lal, Preeti (September 1, 2015). "Geneva: Land of Monsters and Philosophers". Verve (Indian magazine) . Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  6. "Storing Cigars:We explore the ways cigar aficionados can maintain the freshness of their cigars". Cigar Aficionado (Mar/Apr). 1998. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  7. Pitts, Kelly (December 16, 2019). "What Is The Best Way To Store Your Weed?". Wikileaf . Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  8. "Electronic Humidor". October 7, 2020. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  9. Purdy, Strother (2010). Traditional Box Projects. Taunton Press. p. 73. ISBN   978-1-60085-110-0 . Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  10. Beetle pest control information in Wikipedia
  11. Stauffer, Daniel (August 18, 2020). "DIY Humidors". swisscubancigars.com. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  12. "Cigar Humidor Calculator". humidordiscount.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  13. "Best Humidors".
  14. Manelski, Gary (November 11, 2018). "How to Season a New Humidor". liveabout.com. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  15. "How long do cigars last without a humidor?" . Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  16. "How to Correct the Humidity Level in a Humidor". about.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  17. Volz, Samantha (April 12, 2017). "How to Make Your Own Humidor Solution". ourpastimes.com. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  18. Carleton Hacker, Richard. The Ultimate Cigar Book (4th ed.). Skyhourse. p. 286. ISBN   978-1-63220-657-2.
  19. "Regardless, digital hygrometers". crownhumidors.com. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  20. "Optimum temperature for cigar storage". humidor-guide.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.