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Old 01-25-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
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Major cigar problem PLEASE HELP

First a little back story, I have enjoyed cigars off and on for around 20 years without knowing much about them ( a cigar was a cigar right ).

Over the last five years I have started to get two to three cigars at a time, smoking them within a couple of days, nothing fancy, most would call them a step above drug store cigars ( I did find some I liked, most were ok ), In the last year I have gotten serious about collecting and smoking cigars, along with learning about the differences between them, in this time I bought a 40 cigar humidor along with making one with about a 500 cigar capacity ( Spanish Cedar lined, Spanish cedar tray's, along with a 3 volt fan system for air circulation. Both humidors are running at or near 68 rh and 70* ( figured I would split the difference in the 65 rh and 70 rh camps ).

The problem I am having is around 3/4 of the cigars I light up start out great, the first 1/3 is great ( depending on the type of cigar ) then some where in the second 1/3 the cigar starts to swell and split, usually about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, all the way around the cigar ( as if it was a band around the cigar ) during this time the cigars are some of the nastiest tasting things I have tasted ( after about the fourth or fifth one I decided to hell with it I payed good money I was going to finish the cigar ), once past the swelling the cigars usually turn into some of the nicest smoking/tasting cigars I have smoked ( again depending on brand/type of cigar - cant make crap taste any better no matter what you do ).
I have several types/brands in the humidors so it is not a brand issue as far as I can tell ( every thing from Victor Sinclair, Olivia, ETC. to my favorite house brand -Thompson explorer- )
I keep the different types separated along with plenty of air space/flow, I have tried leaving them in the cellophane and removing them, I am using bead's along with distilled water, the 40 count is as I bought it, with natural air flow.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I would love to enjoy every cigar as much as I enjoy the ones that smoke properly.

I should note that most smoke evenly with a few running faster one one side or the other but as I understand this is semi common.

Thanks to anyone that wants to help or has any ideas
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
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Rashadog,

First of all, welcome to the forum! You have come to the right place.

Washington state. Pretty humid where you live? I hear you guys get a lot of rain. One possibility is maybe your humidors are a little dry and when you get one out and start to smoke it in the humid air, they are swelling and splitting. A dry cigar will burn hot. If it burns real hot, it likely will taste bad. With that being said, I live in Central Texas. We run hot and humid in the summer, and mostly cold and dry in the winter (which lasts about three weeks). I usually encounter split wrappers in very dry air. Nothing severe and the cigars taste and smoke fine. I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, but are your humidors seasoned properly? I see that you are running a fan, but what is your humidification device? I think the fan is drying out your sticks. I would only recommend a fan in large cabinet type humidors. In my opinion a 500 ct humidor is too small for a fan.

As far as seasoning a humidor, this is the method that I use and it has always worked great: I take a shot glass full of distiller water and put it in the microwave long enough to get it real hot where there is steam starting to form. I then take the shot glass and put it in the empty humidor for 24 hrs. I repeat that for three days. Boom, you have a seasoned humidor. I also only use RH beads. My RH usually runs about 64. That is a perfect RH for my cigars. During the winter I have to hydrate the beads about once a week (dry air from the heater and fireplace) and maybe once every three weeks in the summer.

Don't know if any of this helps, but I'm thinking your fan is drying out the inside of your humidor and your RH device. Let me know your thoughts.


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Old 01-25-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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Oops. Just saw that you are using beads.


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Old 01-25-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply

Hi
As for being humid, we can be at times ( Lot's of rain )
I thank u for the seasoning idea, I boils a sponge, then used distilled water and wiped the interior ( very lightly, sponge hardly moist ) then placed sponge in a lid in humidor for three days, after that I have had steady readings of 66 rh to 68 rh.
I like the idea of the probable being drawing in moisture from the air, as most of my problems if I remember correctly, come when I am walking the dog ( Great alone time to thoroughly enjoy my favorite past time -cigars- )
I will have to keep a record of the times and outside humidity and post back
Again thanks for the help and reply
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:52 PM   #5
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P.S.

Forgot to mention the reason for the fan is, as I made my own humidor I placed my hydrometer in several different areas inside and the readings varied from 62 rh to 69 rh ( not bad I know but I like consistency -kinda anal i know ) the bead's are in a Spanish Cedar box ( centered ) with 1/2 inch intake holes on the side at the bottom with a large ( fan size ) hole on the top, consistent 68 rh readings at all points now
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:49 AM   #6
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I am with Dusty on this one. I smoke outside in the winter here, I keep my cigars at about 65 to 68% humididy, and every once in a while on a really cold day, I will have the same splitting or cracking. It does not happen all the time, just once or twice a winter season. That makes me think, it might be connected to construction issues.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Thompson explorer and Victor Sinclair are crap in my book and I wouldn't be surprised at anything haywire with them.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #8
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Thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

It seems odd that only the middle of the cigar has too high RH. Feet are most often the first places to dry out, the cap end the last to dry out.

Do you have a humidifier positioned directly above or below the middles of your cigars? This could really be the only thing I could think of besides being really unlucky and having a sudden humidity spike.

Like the others have said, I would season your humi's again, this time for at least a week. An empty humi when seasoning shouldn't just read the RH you ware expecting it to be (65%-70%) as once you put your cigars in, they will suck up that humidity a bit.

Also, is your humidor full? Un-even distribution in a humidor the size of you 400 can deliver in consistencies in certain places of the humidor.

As far it happening in your 40 count, I'm kinda baffled. There shouldn't be that kind of problem.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply

First Thanks for the input from everyone, you all have given me some things to think about and look at.
As for my humidification system, I have it placed at the end of the cabinet, with no cigars placed over the output fan ( two of my tray's do extend over it though ) for those that would like to know, the inside dimensions are 34 inch's long, 18 inch's wide by 22 inch's tall, The fan box run's the width at the right hand end on the bottom, I have 1/4 inch tall runners along the bottom instead of a lift out tray with five lift out tray's, three ending 1/4 inch from humidifier/fan box, the other two run the full length of the inside, as stated there are five 1/2 inch intake holes on bottom of fan box, bead's are in the middle under the fan with about 3/4 inch from jar to the fan, the fan is a 15 volt fan running at three volt's ( just enough to move the air, not much more, placing your hand above it you can barely feel it ), I had the setting reversed but the humidity wanted to run at 74*.
Hope this info help's, I have been trying to find any info on this with no luck, (nothing even close )
I am going to try re-seasoning as suggested, along with turning the fan off, I will let everyone know how it goes in a couple of week's.
Also as I am here I like the mild to medium cigars for the most part tending towards the medium side ( have found a couple stronger cigars I like to ) always looking for new ones, so anyone with suggestions/recommendations, I would love to hear about them.
AGAIN THANKS EVERYONE
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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Opp's Forgot

Forgot to mention that at the moment it is about half full ( around 200-250 cigars )
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:05 PM   #11
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I'd really be curious to know that happens without the fan. I'm not sure but I think I read a few years ago that you want to keep your humidors near capacity. Like maybe 2/3 or more full.

As far as light cigars go, I tend to lean full, but the La Flor Dominica Light is an awesome cigar.



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Old 01-26-2013, 07:08 PM   #12
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Thanks, I will be sure to try it out, also will be more than happy to let you know how thigs turn out
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:50 PM   #13
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I smoked a Cohiba a couple weeks back and it blew up on me just as you described. I asked what could cause this while I was in Nicaragua. I was surprised at the answer because I thought it was a cigar, maybe my humidor. In this case I had taken the band off early in the smoke. I was told they use paraffin to seal the band around the cigar and if you remove it early it will cause micro cracks in the wrapper causing it to blow up. Nick Perdomo said you have to wait until you get to within a centimeter of the band before you should remove it. At that point the paraffin is hot enough that it melts and won't cause cracking. Just a thought.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DGJ View Post
I smoked a Cohiba a couple weeks back and it blew up on me just as you described. I asked what could cause this while I was in Nicaragua. I was surprised at the answer because I thought it was a cigar, maybe my humidor. In this case I had taken the band off early in the smoke. I was told they use paraffin to seal the band around the cigar and if you remove it early it will cause micro cracks in the wrapper causing it to blow up. Nick Perdomo said you have to wait until you get to within a centimeter of the band before you should remove it. At that point the paraffin is hot enough that it melts and won't cause cracking. Just a thought.
I try to leave my bands on for as long as possible. Often times when I have taken the band off early, I have indeed torn the wrapper.



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Old 01-31-2013, 07:02 PM   #15
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Never had such a problem and I always take the bands off (carefully) before lighting up. I do recall reading somewhere that the glue on the bands will soften and release the band easily once they get warm enough.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:46 PM   #16
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Thank's DGJ

Thanks for the input, I will try this with the next few cigars, This fix I can report back on immediately as I normally remove the band's for fear of tearing the wrapper with my glove's ( average winter temp. around 14* - dog want,s to walk any way ), I may have to figure out a way to keep my hand's warm while outside.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:18 AM   #17
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My biggest glove problem in winter smoking has been catching the work gloves on fire.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:17 PM   #18
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Good one Tony!! That would take the fun out of a walk for sure. Try wearing leather work gloves. I have a pair that I have been wearing for about 3 years now, and they smell fantastic from all the cigars I have smoked with them on.
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