ASK HALFWHEEL: HOW DO I STORE CIGARS IN HIGH HEAT?
Angga from Indonesia writes in to ask about storing cigars in high heat. Here’s the question:
“I am living in a hot country, Indonesia. The temperature is around 30-35 Celsius every day. I have some questions regarding the storage of my cigars. How should I store my cigars so that the tobacco won’t get cooked?”
Thanks for the question, Angga! When it comes to storing cigars in high heat, there are a few things you can do to make sure your cigars don’t get cooked.
First, make sure you’re using a humidor that’s big enough to hold all of your cigars. If your humidor is too small, the cigars will be too close together and will be more likely to cook.
Second, keep your humidor in a cool, dark https://lumbuy.com/best-cigar-cooler/ place. The cooler and darker the better – this will help keep the cigars from cooking.
Finally, make sure you check your cigars regularly to make sure they’re not cooking. The last thing you want is for your cigars to get ruined because they were stored in too much heat!
Cigar storage is all about temperature and humidity. These are the two most important things to keep in mind when storing your cigars.
As far as temperature goes, most people are worried about one thing: lasioderma serricorne, or tobacco beetles. These beetles generally hatch in warmer temperatures, around 73 degrees Fahrenheit or higher according to this article from Stogie Fresh. However, it’s not a hard and fast rule – some people can get away with storing their cigars in warmer climates, while others might have issues even with lower temperatures.
When it comes to humidity, the general rule of thumb is to keep your cigars at around 70% relative humidity. Again, there are some people who can get away with deviating from this slightly, but for the most part, 70% is a good target to aim for.
If you can’t find the time to take a break, your next best bet is a combination of preventive care and damage control. Taking care of yourself is key to being able to work hard, so make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating well, and exercising. In the event that something does happen and you find yourself in a not-so-great situation, try to take it in stride and learn from it. Use it as an opportunity to grow and improve.
- Prevent beetles by freezing your cigars — Many cigar factories fumigate tobacco a few times per year and then freeze cigars before shipping them to prevent beetles. My recommendation is to:
Place the cigars in your humidor
This isn’t a perfect solution, but it should help to prevent any beetles from hatching as a result of higher temperatures during shipping.
For those wondering about the fridge time, it’s meant to help the cigars better adjust from the warm climate to freezing and then back to warm. If this happens too quickly, it can cause some bad things to happen.
- Do not store all your cigars in one container—
I would recommend keeping your cigars in smaller containers or humidors, instead of one large one, to reduce the risk that all of them could be ruined by beetles or mold at once. My best suggestion would be to use tupperware containers or even Ziplock bags.
- Be very cautious of your humidity—
If you’re not using a Boveda or an electronic humidification system to control the humidity in your growroom, I would start. Many people are just concerned about the temperature and don’t realize the risk they run with the humidity.
- Store your cigars in the coldest place in your home—
The best place to store your wine is in a dark, cool place. Sunlight and heat can damage wine, so the cooler the better. Oftentimes the bottom of a closet is the coolest place in the house, but if you have another spot that’s even cooler, go for that. No matter how small your home is, there are bound to be temperature differences from one room to the next, so find the coolest spot you can and store your wine there.
- Smoke ’em if you got ’em—
I’m guessing this might not make sense in Indonesian, but the point is: smoke your cigars quickly, don’t let them sit around for too long. If you’re going to be risking temperatures as high as 86 degrees, I wouldn’t personally let cigars sit for that long. My recommendation would be to go through the steps above, but ultimately not age cigars for too long as you’re only risking the chance of a beetle infestation.
The Dominican Republic is a large country, but for the purposes of this article, we will focus on Santiago, where the majority of cigarmakers are based. While it does get warm during some parts of the year, the temperature usually drops down into the 70s at night.
Most people smoking cigars—particularly those who own a humidor—in the Dominican Republic are likely towards the upper end of the socioeconomic spectrum, meaning they likely have air conditioning.