What is a Cigar Humidifier?
A cigar humidifier is the system inside a humidor that regulates the humidity inside the humidor. A home or office cigar humidor is necessary to maintain the proper environment for both storage and aging of cigars.
A cigar humidifier regulates the humidity of the air surrounding your cigars in order to keep them fresh. You can’t just leave a cigar in your desk drawer and hope to get the smoke it was made to give months later.
Cigars not stored in a humidor with a functioning cigar humidifier can be rehumidified using various rehumidification products. This makes it possible to smoke the cigar without it going out or crumbling or burning too quickly, but they will likely still taste stale.
A cigar humidifier should be set to between 68 and 74 percent humidity level. This in
combination with a temperature of about 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal condition for storage and aging of cigars. This type of environment will allow the cigar to absorb some moisture from the air around which helps with flavor development and an even burn when smoked. Too little humidity and the cigar will stale, too much and the cigar will dampen and maybe even mold.
Cigar humidifier systems are very simple. The classic cigar humidifier consists of a plastic or metal case which houses a wet sponge. The sponge reacts to the amount of humidity in the humidor and absorbs or emits humidity at a different rate than the cigar thus helping to regulate the cigar’s humidity level.
This provides enough humidity regulation for most cigar collections and has been the most used method for a long time. The only real maintenance for such cigar humidifiers systems is to regularly apply either water or some propylene glycol solution to the sponge to help it maintain its quality.
Tap Water or Not?
Some cigar humidifier systems are able to function with tap water, while most work best with distilled water or a propylene glycol solution. Most cigar humidifier systems should be refilled about once a month to be safe, but such factors as how often the box is open, how many cigars are stored, the size of the humidor, and external humidity and temperature should be considered when deciding how often to refill.
The most popular manufacturer brand of such cigar humidifier systems is Credo. The French company name is almost synonymous with sponge cigar humidifier systems. In recent years some manufacturers have created new technology for cigar humidifier systems. Acryl polymer cigar humidifier systems have received mixed reviews. While they have the potential to offer greater humidity control, some systems have done more harm than good.