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View Full Version : Temp control - how important is it?


Steve OB
07-24-2014, 03:52 PM
I am new to the forum. I( have read many threads about what temperature and RH should be (70/70%). I was wondering, how does one control the temperature in cooler humidors and most desktop wood box humis? I am converting a Magic Chef wine cooler into a humidor. It will hold about 22 boxes of my favorite smokes (Oliva Serie V Churchhills) I know that compressor driven cooling systems tend to suck the humidity out of the box, so I don't intend to use the cooling system. I will unplug it. I intend to use beads to control RH. I learned that the mean annual RH where I live (San Diego) is 69%. The unit will be inside. In the summer the temp inside varies between 65 and 75 (no A/C). That means the temp inside the unit will be 65-75. Occasionally, it gets up to 80, but it doesn't last long. The winters average between 60-65 indoors. If I maintain a 70% RH inside the unit, will my 3 cigars be OK?

icehog3
07-24-2014, 03:57 PM
Temps above 70* for long periods of time can lead to beetles hatching. A few days straight at 80* is not good. See my reply in your other thread for more info.

pnoon
07-24-2014, 03:59 PM
Welcome to CA, Steve.
Your temps and cigars will be fine. I live in San Diego (Mira Mesa) and at times I do turn on the central a/c. But in OB, temperature will not be an issue.
As for RH, personally, I think 70% is way too wet. I much prefer low to mid-60s.

Steve OB
07-24-2014, 04:10 PM
OK, I'm thinking that 70% is probably too high for RH. Good info. Thanks. I don't think the ambient temps here will require chilling. I just don't want to smoke bugs! But wait, does that mean we all smoke bug eggs?

kydsid
07-24-2014, 05:16 PM
But wait, does that mean we all smoke bug eggs?

Yes and no. Tobacco beetles are pervasive in all tobacco growing regions. Eradication is not possible but cultural control techniques pre and post harvest can help control their numbers.

Key thing to remember is you are smoking a natural product, that may include other natural things. Plus if you eat peanut butter you likely eat more bug and bug parts than you'll ever smoke and both are harmless. But that's a story for some other time.

T.G
07-24-2014, 05:19 PM
I just don't want to smoke bugs! But wait, does that mean we all smoke bug eggs?

That's a distinct possibility.

*pinky up*

Wharf Rat
07-24-2014, 05:56 PM
You might want to look up the sticky thread on freezing to kill beetle eggs. Many of us use this technique. Welcome!

Steve OB
07-24-2014, 06:59 PM
Wharf: you have got to be kidding!!! This getting to be a very complcated sport.

Chainsaw13
07-24-2014, 07:06 PM
Wharf: you have got to be kidding!!! This getting to be a very complcated sport.


Nope, not kidding. Many of us freeze our cigars as insurance against beetles.

Steve OB
07-24-2014, 07:09 PM
Buying, modifying, measuring, calibrating, monitoring, fteezing, thawing, replacing, maintaining....is thereany time left for smoking?

Chainsaw13
07-24-2014, 07:24 PM
Buying, modifying, measuring, calibrating, monitoring, fteezing, thawing, replacing, maintaining....is thereany time left for smoking?

It's really not that much work once you get your humidor setup. And then don't stress over it. It'll fluctuate temp/humidity. That's normal. As many here have found, cigars are resilient. Freezing only takes a few days. You can always skip it, but it is good piece of mind. So smoke away!

markem
07-24-2014, 08:16 PM
Key thing to remember is you are smoking a natural product, that may include other natural things. Plus if you eat peanut butter you likely eat more bug and bug parts than you'll ever smoke and both are harmless. But that's a story for some other time.

Not to mention "meat products" of all sorts.

My humidors get up to 78* a lot in the summer. That's the set point for the air conditioner. I do freeze and would recommend it, since it is one more relatively painless step in not having to worry about temp. :banger

Some here really like 70% RH. Some like it in the high 50s. Personally, I like about 61-63% and shoot for that. The main trick is to find what works for you. This means, an RH you can maintain where your sticks are smoking well. It's as much art as science, so may take a while. Just remember that changes to RH should be made slowly and infrequently so that the changes do not adversely affect the sticks It can take months for the RH inside the stick to stabilize.

Been there, screwed that up. :tu

the nub
07-24-2014, 08:31 PM
will my 3 cigars be OK?

Buying, modifying, measuring, calibrating, monitoring, fteezing, thawing, replacing, maintaining....is thereany time left for smoking?

I think you're over complicating things.

Ashcan Bill
07-24-2014, 08:43 PM
Buying, modifying, measuring, calibrating, monitoring, fteezing, thawing, replacing, maintaining....is thereany time left for smoking?

Wow. I only do the first one. No wonder I spend so darn much time smoking cigars. :lr

Steve OB
07-24-2014, 10:09 PM
Ashcan. You ate da man.

T.G
07-24-2014, 11:57 PM
Ashcan. You ate da man.

http://www.amoeba.com/admin/uploads/blog/Kelly/Eat-Em-And-Smile.jpg

CdnStogie
07-25-2014, 06:41 AM
Being newer to cigars, I only have a small collection going for about 4 months now. I haven't gone through the freezing my cigars method and have had my temps typically hovering between 72-75* daily with no ill effects *knock on wood*. I just bought a house however and now that I have a basement, I have a much cooler area than I had in my non-a/c apartment so I have my temps corrected.

Though if/when I have a bigger collection (only have about 40 sticks) I will be more concerned with beetles and temp control... From my understanding, most reputable manufacturers/suppliers freeze the cigars prior to putting them in storefronts etc as a safety net - I forget where I read that....

Porch Dweller
07-25-2014, 07:29 AM
Due to the climate here I use a wineador. Because of this I don't freeze.

nutcracker
07-25-2014, 10:18 AM
So interestingly I had been worried about temp because I have some cigars in a wine cellar. I recently came across a comment from Edward Sahakian (the manager of the Davidoff store in London, England) on James Suckling's website. He suggests 13 degrees Celsius 65% humidity as perfect for aging cigars.

I am now officially confused, based on my understanding of RH, however this is a highly respected cigar retailer who probably has a lifetime of experience with sort of thing.

Cooler and drier than conventional wisdom.

cmdrmcbragg
07-25-2014, 10:40 AM
There are so many different methods and recommendations for the humidor: 60-65/70-72 RH. I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as you like your smokes, which should be fine in either range depending on how moist you want your smokes to stay. I'm fairly new to the collecting and storage of sticks, but not to the smoking of them. My humidor hovers in the high 60s which works for me in Colorado where the air is dryer with a lower humidity at altitude. I'd prefer my humidor to stay up in the high 60s, but I'm sure they would be just fine in the mid to lower 60s. If you average the recommendations I think you'll be just fine. Everyone has their own beliefs and if they all still store and smoke ok then I wouldn't put too much stock into who is truly right or wrong.

Porch Dweller
07-25-2014, 10:51 AM
So interestingly I had been worried about temp because I have some cigars in a wine cellar. I recently came across a comment from Edward Sahakian (the manager of the Davidoff store in London, England) on James Suckling's website. He suggests 13 degrees Celsius 65% humidity as perfect for aging cigars.

I am now officially confused, based on my understanding of RH, however this is a highly respected cigar retailer who probably has a lifetime of experience with sort of thing.

Cooler and drier than conventional wisdom.

I used to keep mine at 70% just because I'd read that that was the optimum for NCs. It wasn't until I came here to CA that I saw that many, many folks prefer their's lower. So I did some experimenting and realized that 63-65% is my preference; they just seem to burn and taste better.

As for temperature, I keep my wineador at 65* (18C). I could go lower but sometimes I'm taking a cigar out and heading straight outside to where it could be 98* (37C) and 85+% humidity and that big sudden change seems to affect the burn. I usually take about five to 10 out at a time and put them in a humidor to let them adjust to the temperature changes, and just pull sticks out of the humi to smoke. But sometimes there's something in the wineador I want to smoke NOW, so I don't keep it as low as it can go.

markem
07-25-2014, 10:54 AM
So interestingly I had been worried about temp because I have some cigars in a wine cellar. I recently came across a comment from Edward Sahakian (the manager of the Davidoff store in London, England) on James Suckling's website. He suggests 13 degrees Celsius 65% humidity as perfect for aging cigars.


Low temp and humidity seem to be the norm for aging, which is different than storage for smoking. Most vendors that I know of who age stock want to age it in the mid-to-high 50s. However, whatever works. Airflow, light, etc. can all play a difference, so it eventually comes down to preference.

Ashcan Bill
07-25-2014, 01:10 PM
Let me expand a bit on my cigar storage methodology.

First off, I don't pay attention to the humidity readings on the few hygrometers I still have that work. I've adjusted my humidity setpoints based on how the cigars feel and smoke. It did take a few years to figure out what made me happy on that score. Supple enough to squeeze a bit without cracking the wrapper, but dry enough to smoke without the danger of accidently sucking my tongue down my throat.

Secondly, most of my stock lives in an Aristocrat with the "Set and Forget" temperature/humidity system. The system works well and I did exactly that years back - set it and forgot about it.

I found that for me, setting the humidity for 60% gives me what I want both for aging and for smoking. Now the actual readings will vary at different locations throughout the cabinet - some areas will be in the mid to upper 50s and other areas in the lower 60s. No large storage area will be completely constant. And I suspect I store my cigars at a much lower humidity than most. Anywhere from the mid 50s to low 60s is what I shoot for.

Because I live in the desert where it can get warm (115 yesterday), I ordered the cabinet with double cooling units. I keep the system set at 72, while my home A/C is at 78 so the cooling units do cycle off and on during the warmer months. And if I go on vacation and up the setting for the house while we're gone, the Aristocrat maintains itself fine.

Most manufacturers take measures to kill the bugs before the cigars leave their control. And as I said, I keep mine at 72 degrees so if I did get any with eggs, they most likely wouldn't hatch until I moved them into my death row humidor. I'd see the bugs quickly then. So I don't worry about freezing cigars. Never have. (And back in the days before the internet, I didn't even know about tobacco beetles. All those years I should have been worrying, and didn't. The horror of it.)

So yeah, all I do anymore is buy 'em, stack 'em and smoke 'em. I don't worry about what the hygrometers say (did I mention most of mine no longer work?). I let the Set and Forget system do it's thing. I sleep well.

heyferg
07-25-2014, 07:10 PM
[QUOTE=Porch Dweller;1976597]I used to keep mine at 70% just because I'd read that that was the optimum for NCs. It wasn't until I came here to CA that I saw that many, many folks prefer their's lower. So I did some experimenting and realized that 63-65% is my preference; they just seem to burn and taste better.


FWIW - this is my experience as well. For years I always kept my cigars at 70%. Then I split a box of PSD4s with a friend of mine. We were smoking at his place and he gave me one of the SD4s and it was 100 times better than my cigars from the same box. Better burn, better taste, just plain better. We starting comparing notes he told me he kept his humidor at 60-62%. So I started experimenting and found that I like cigars kept at 65% best.

Live and learn!

JJKJR
07-29-2014, 06:41 AM
I had only one episode of beatles and I swore that it would never happen again. It cost me several nice sticks. I now freeze ANY cigars I put in my humidor. It's a very simple process which has no negative effects on the cigars.

8zeros
07-29-2014, 11:31 AM
I had only one episode of beatles and I swore that it would never happen again.
I haven't seen a Beatles episode since I was too young to smoke.:rd
I try to keep the humidity down and the temperature is whatever room temp allows.
I have a cooler in the cellar for boxes. It's always cool down there. Cold in the winter. I try not to keep too many in the humidor upstairs. I haven't seen a beetle attack yet and don't want to.

JohnRogers
07-29-2014, 01:09 PM
So afternoons between 2pm and 7pm when the thermostat is set at 78 my Tupperidor should be in the fridge?

CigarNut
07-29-2014, 01:17 PM
A few hours at high temps will not generally cause a problem. Having said that, if you were to freeze your cigars then you would not have to worry about high temps.

czerbe
07-29-2014, 03:02 PM
I had one outbreak of Beetles and I caught it early. I still do not freeze my smokes.. I do my best to keep them stored about 70F and even though it does get up to the upper 70s sometimes I just can freeze them. I am looking at building a wineador in the near future.

baust55
08-09-2014, 01:13 AM
I set wineadore at 65f and try for 65% RH but it varies from 62% to 68%