Save a cigar if too dry or too wet

TOO DRY!!!

Tell tell signs that your cigar is too dry. It is lighter than it seems for the size of the cigar. It is as hard as a rock. If you gently, and I mean gently, press the cigar between you pointer finger and thumb and find it won’t give you any play in the tobacco. Also if the wrapper (outer leaves) are as dry as a fall leaf on the ground. It would be the difference between a damp sponge and a bone dry one. The moisture in the tobacco has evaporated and that is ok. If this is the case don’t worry you need to look at the cigar to see if it is savable.

Well the first thing to check on the cigar is the wrapper. If the wrapper is not cracked through to the filler tobacco you might have a chance. All hand rolled cigars have an overlapping wrapper roll, which means that there is two and sometimes three layers of wrapper. Second, check the foot (the side you light) of the cigar and see if the tobacco is firm and in place. If it is not, you might have to wait and see after re-hydrating it to smoke it. Most good to excellent cigars will have filler (tobacco inside the wrapper) that runs the length of the cigar giving the cigar a good even burn and is a sign of a hand-rolled cigar. Others that are not so good will have cut tobacco, like pipe tobacco or cigarette tobacco, pressed and molded around the wrapper. If the tobacco falls out at the foot in little shreds it most likely won’t be worth the smoke to save it.

If your cigar has a crack in the wrapper it is not the end of the world. It all depends on where it is on the cigar. If it is near the foot of the cigar, that is ok. The science behind the wrapper is simple. If you take a garden hose and turn the water on, the water flows from the faucet to the bib of the hose and on the ground. Now if you slice a slit in the hose half way down the hose water begins to spray from the hole reducing the water pressure. To fix the problem you have to cut the damaged part off and reattach the hose. Well the closer the crack in the wrapper to the foot of the cigar the better chance you have of not having to cut half your cigar off. If it is close to the foot you wont have to cut the cigar as the cigar looses length as you smoke it.

To revive your cigar simply place it in your humidor or humidor like environment for approx. 1-2 weeks until the tobacco regulates itself to the new environment and increases in moisture content. If you don’t have a humidor check out the other “How To” sections of this web page. If you are going to cut the cigar and get rid of the damaged wrapper, DO NOT cut it when it is dry. Wait until it regulates to the humidity and becomes more pliable. Also if you cut it when it is too dry it will create more cracks in the wrapper, not good! If you get lucky the wrapper might even reattach together and seal the crack as it increases moisture. It has been known to happen.

TOO WET

This is not a difficult thing to figure out. You have two choices; throw it away or smoke it. That’s it. If your cigar is too squishy and looks almost water-logged just simply leave it out on the counter or on a shelf somewhere in you home. Give it about 2-3 hours until it regulates to the room humidity. If you live in a place where relative humidity is above 80% just leave it outside in a breezy spot. There are two things to look for before smoking the cigar. MOLD. There are two kinds of mold that effect cigars. Blue with white spots and Green-blue mold. Some cigars have discolorations on the wrappers themselves and look similar to mold but when you rub them they don’t come off. Blue mold is ok and is a sign that the place it was being stored was at optimum temp/humid levels. Simply rub it off and smoke. If it is Green-blue mold and you feel like saving them you can. View this page to see how.

7 Comments

  1. Question
    From Wellington,
    Hey, really appreciate the blog. I’ve got a few questions as i know next to nothing about cigars… I just got a humidor as a gift and i’ve seasoned the thing, but it doesn’t seem to be keeping a constant humidity. I’ll add some distilled water, a few hours later the hygrometer will read 70 and then the next day it’s back down to 60 percent. Any thoughts? also, is it ok if a few drops of water get on the cigars as i’m adding water to the sponge? I can’t imagine it would do any damage. thanks.

    Anwser
    From Habanalungs Staff,
    Now when you say “seasoned” I hope you mean you charged it. It is the process in which you add humidification before adding you new cigars. And you had wiped the entire inside with rubbing alcohol to ensure no mold or bacteria was present in the humidor.
    As for the humidifaction level it will vary depending on how many times a day you open it. Two, the size of the humidor and the amount of cigars you have in that humidor. If you have a humidor that can hold 50 cigars and have only 6 cigars, it is going to be very difficult to regulate the atmoisphere. The more packed the humidor the easier for the cigars to stay regulated. It is going to take a few days for your humidor to regulate its self to the new environment and like I said the more packed your humidar the better regulation.
    Think of it like an ice machine. If there is no or little ice in the bin it has to keep making ice, but if the ice bin is full then every once and a while it has to make ice when you pull some out. A for the water drops on the cigars, don’t worry too much on that but always wipe them off before it soaks in. If you do the too much you will get dry rot or when you smoke it, it might crack and split the wrapper. You should only have to add water to the sponge 2-3 times a month.

  2. Can you put something else in the humidor to balance out the humidity? I know with wine cellars or fridges you can put full Liter bottles of water in the slots where the wine would rest to acclimate the entire cellar easier if you have only a few bottles of wine in there. I am assuming that it would be a similar thing. Could you maybe put some wooden dowels or other material in the humidor??

  3. my cigars are too be too damp to smoke, they draw hard ,don’t burn even and bite your tongue ,, I haven’t had much luck drying them,can I leave them outside in a partialy shaded patio, I changed from a 50 cigar humidor to a 300 cigar humidor and have about 120 in it. I think the humidity was much too high after I seasoned it .
    P.S. I very new at this so excuse my igornance..
    Thanks,

  4. I’ve received several cigars that were shipped too wet and when I complain they blame it on my humidor. It doesn’t matter if you have the world’s greatest humidor, in my opinion they will never be smokable.

    • no you are good. As long as there is no green or chalk like mold on the cigars just leave them out of the humidor for a few hours and they will be good to smoke.

      • Yup just leave them out

  5. My cigars are moist. Is there anything wrong with my humidification system?


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