Purpose of a Humidor for Cigars
When cigars are not properly stored, they can dry out or get too moist and unravel. This causes them to burn unevenly or even be totally ruined. The main function of a humidor for cigars is to provide a controlled environment for cigar storage. The ideal temperature is about 72 degrees Fahrenheit with a 70 percent humidity level. Some people prefer their humidity a little higher, or lower, but this is the ballpark you are aiming for.
Making Your Own Humidor for Cigars
When many cigar aficionados hear the word humidor, they probably imagine a huge walk-in edifice with wood paneling and a collection of world-class cigars, the kind of place that even smells expensive. Fortunately for cigar lovers, humidors do not have to be huge or expensive to be effective. In fact, it is even possible to make a humidor for cigars at very little cost and with a minimal amount of effort.
Choosing a Container
First of all, it is critical to choose an ideal storage container. A large cooler or plastic bin will work just fine. No matter what you choose, make sure the container is new, clean, and free of any odors. It is key that the housing container be able to withstand high levels of humidity and be large enough to comfortably store your cigars. Cigar boxes are helpful for stacking the cigars and protecting them from direct contact with the source of moisture as well as the plastic if using an cooler or plastic bin.
Choosing a Humidifier
Now that you have your container, you need to add humidity in a controlled manner. The device we use to add humidity is called a humidifier. Humidifiers come in all shapes and sizes. You want to ensure that the humidifier you choose is sized for the container you picked. Some of the more popular choices for humidifiers are silica gel, humidity beads, traditional foam, or electric. You will want to moisten the humidifier with either distilled water or activator solution, depending on the type you are going to use.
Choosing a Hygrometer
To measure the humidity level we use a hygrometer. These come in two basic varieties; analog or digital. If you are concerned about cost, then analog hygrometers are the best choice. They are the least expensive and come in a variety of sizes. If you are looking for high accuracy then digital hygrometers are your best bet. Regardless of which type of hygrometer you are choosing, you will want to calibrate it to ensure its accuracy. This is true even of the digital models.
If you are using a plastic container or cooler, be sure to open the lid for a few seconds about once a week to allow the cigars to breathe. Trying this method, you are sure to save a bit on a humidor for cigars as well as preserve and enhance the flavor of your cigars.
How to Make a Poor Mans Humidor For Cigars by David Sabot