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Is temperature really a problem?

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I got to thinking (which can be a dangerous thing) that I've never read anything that explains why high temperatures are bad for cigars. Assuming that the cigars have been properly frozen to remove the risk of beetles, what happens to a cigar that is stored at 80 deg. instead of 65 - 70 ? The higher temp will affect the RH in the air but not the total moisture content if the storage is air tight. I'm not talking about storing at over 100 deg, I'm just wondering if summer temperatures are as big a worry as most people seem to think. Can anyone educate me?
 
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Mold grows at higher temps from what I've been told and of course beetles. Just because a manufacturer freezes there sticks doesn't mean you won't have beetles. I've seen holes and tracks in sticks that were frozen.

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D Quintero

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significant temperature fluctuations negatively impacts the cigar's optimal smoking chemistry .
poor burn characteristics and muted flavors are just some common symptoms associated
 
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I appreciate the input.
I was thinking about all the people that have winadors with cooling. My thought was "is this cooling really necessary?" If the RH is well controlled then mold should not be a problem at higher temperatures. If your winador is 65% RH at 70 deg. and then the temp went up to 80 or 90, I would think that the limited moisture would not be enough for mold growth. Am I wrong?
 

Hendy

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Don't forget the pesky beetles that incubate at higher temps. That's my worst thoughts.


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ChuckMejia

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I got to thinking (which can be a dangerous thing) that I've never read anything that explains why high temperatures are bad for cigars. Assuming that the cigars have been properly frozen to remove the risk of beetles, what happens to a cigar that is stored at 80 deg. instead of 65 - 70 ? The higher temp will affect the RH in the air but not the total moisture content if the storage is air tight. I'm not talking about storing at over 100 deg, I'm just wondering if summer temperatures are as big a worry as most people seem to think. Can anyone educate me?
Yes with your temp or rh running high you can run into issues like @StogieJim and in into a lot of cigars draw issues.

:)
 
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I freeze all my cigars, so I am not (too) concerned with beetles, and so I don't sweat the occasional high temperature either. In the Spring before I have turned on the a/c or in the fall after I have turned it off there might be a day or two where it's unseasonably warm and the indoor temperature gets up to the mid or upper 70s and I haven't experienced any problems.
 

stin187

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RH is Relative Humidity. For instance at a reading of 65%RH at 65 degrees fahrenheit the actual moisture content of the air will be less than the moisture content in the air with a reading of 65%RH at 80 degrees fahrenheit. If you want to store at higher temps you would need to lower the RH to keep similar moisture content in the air. That's the sciencey bit. In reality if they smoke well and you're happy you are storing them correctly.
 
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RH is Relative Humidity. For instance at a reading of 65%RH at 65 degrees fahrenheit the actual moisture content of the air will be less than the moisture content in the air with a reading of 65%RH at 80 degrees fahrenheit. If you want to store at higher temps you would need to lower the RH to keep similar moisture content in the air. That's the sciencey bit. In reality if they smoke well and you're happy you are storing them correctly.
I agree. So if you know that the RH is good at 65 degrees, and then the temp goes up to 80, everything will be fine if you just ignore the hygrometer reading at the elevated temperature. The actual moisture content of the air won't change, just the hygrometer reading will change.
 
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Im going to try a experiment. My house is not AC so I use wineadors. But I REALLY want a nice cabinet. So I'm going to put a few cigars I know I like in a Tupperware bowl with a boveda and see what they do when it gets hot. If they still smoke great then I will just freeze my sticks and modify me a nice display cabinet.
 

stin187

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I agree. So if you know that the RH is good at 65 degrees, and then the temp goes up to 80, everything will be fine if you just ignore the hygrometer reading at the elevated temperature. The actual moisture content of the air won't change, just the hygrometer reading will change.
Yes and no. It depends greatly on what media you are using to provide moisture into the environment and how it is controlled. For example a 65% boveda pack is designed to produce a Relative Humidity of 65%. RH is calculated by amount of moisture in the air divided by the total amount of moisture the air can hold. so 65% RH at 68 degrees F is a total of 9.75g of water per 1kg of air. For easy math we'll say your humi holds 1kg of air. So at 68F your humi has 9.75g of water floating around in it with a 65% boveda pack regulating everything. Now the temp of your humi raises to 77F with the same 65% boveda pack providing 65%RH. The total amount of moisture the air can hold at this temp has risen. So with that being the only variable that changed, your humidor now has 13g of water floating around inside of it. That increase will result in a wetter environment, more water in in the tobacco itself, and possible a difference in flavor and or burn. If the goal for your cigar storage is providing a constant environment then using a relative measurement is not the way to go. Taking the variable of temperature out of the equation with cooling/heating and you have a measurement that becomes actual as opposed to relative. It's all about removing variables to get to a constant. ...oh yeah and we haven't even begun to factor in dew points and what that does to water retention/expulsion in air molecules but hey this is annoying enough for now.
 

Cigary43

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Anything storage temp above 75 degrees will cause issues with our stored cigars as cigars are hygroscopic in nature.......in lay terms, this means that they will, over time, dry out in a dry climate or absorb moisture in a humid one. And they will continue to do so until their
own moisture content matches that of the ambient climate around them. Having said that there are risks for having a temperature that is too high:
1. Outbreak of beetles
2. How the cigar will smoke
3. Unbalanced storage negatively impacts cigars which is why MOST aficionados understand the 70/70 goal of storage.
 
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using an online relative humidity to absolute humidity calculator i determined that 70% humidity at 70 degrees is equal to 55% humidity at 80 degrees might be between 52 and 55%
 
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using an online relative humidity to absolute humidity calculator i determined that 70% humidity at 70 degrees is equal to 55% humidity at 80 degrees might be between 52 and 55%
I also used to think that way but it didn't make sense to me since my humidor changed temperature and the RH changed very little. I came across this article that was originally posted by Mr. McSquirelly in 2015; I don't have a link to the article so I'll have to paste it here. The article suggests always using 70-73% RH which is a bit high for most people but the theory works just as well at 65%. Sorry for the length of the post.

The "Variable" Humidity Myth...

Many self-proclaimed "authorities" have been making a serious mistake of confusing moisture content with relative humidity lately. At least one well-known Cigar distributor has added strength to this legend by distributing a table recommending different relative humidities at different temperatures. Don't fall for this "urban legend"! Cigars should be kept at 70% RH REGARDLESS of temperature or you WILL ruin them...

The modern myth of varying humidity with temperature is based on an entirely false premise. Cigars don't care about absolute moisture content. They need just enough moisture to keep the tobacco pliable, but not so much to swell it. This occurs at 70-73% REGARDLESS of temperature.

Tobacco should be kept at a relative humidity which just keeps the leaves pliable without swelling them. Since that pliability is based on the interaction of the cellular membranes with the air surrounding them, relative humidity--not absolute moisture content--is what's important. This isn't chemistry, it's mechanics - on a cellular level. Ideally, the correct point is 70-73% regardless of temperature. At 70% relative humidity (a measure which by definition is independent of temperature) cigar leaves become pliable without swelling. At 75% or higher, the cells begin to swell; at 68% or lower, they can become brittle. These points are regardless of the ambient temperature or the absolute moisture content.

Does it make any sense to a rational person to keep their cigars at close to 100% humidity at 60 degrees? Anyone living in cold climates can attest to the fact that at 60 deg, their cigars are perfect at 70%, and (as they would at any temperature) their cigars are prone to mold and swelling at humidities above 80%. Those living in the tropics will tell you the same thing - their cigars MUST be kept at 70% humidity at storage temperatures of 80 degrees. According to "the table", those cigars should be at 50% humidity? I'll tell you what: If the humidity drops below 68%, your cigars will become dry and crack - I couldn't even imagine how badly dried out they'd be at 50%!

Try it yourself. The "logic" of varying RH with temp falls apart in the real world. Moisture content is NOT why we keep cigars at 70% humidity...

Here's a more scientific explanation debunking the myth of varying humidity from David E. Patton, Ph.D. at the Department of Physiology, UCLA School of Medicine...

"There has been extensive discussion on A.S.C. concerning the effects of temperature on humidity and its application to proper cigar storage. Much of the confusion concerning these concepts comes from not understanding what is happening at the molecular level. My goal is to explain some of the relevant concepts and then to put the concepts together in such a way as to give an intuitive understanding of how they relate to cigar storage.

Cigars are made from tobacco leaves. Tobacco leaves (like most plant material) consist primarily of carbohydrates and proteins. Protein and carbohydrate molecules contain many binding sites for water molecules. A certain proportion of the water binding sites need to be occupied by water molecules in order for the tobacco leaves to be adequately pliable, to burn properly and to age properly. So when we think about humidity as it relates to cigar storage, the most relevant factor to consider is: Are the correct proportion of water binding sites occupied? Water molecules bind to other molecules via hydrogen bonds. Van der Waals interactions also participate. This applies to water bound to protein and carbohydrate molecules (e.g. tobacco leaves) or to other water molecules (e.g. liquid water). For the purposes of this discussion, water bound to tobacco leaves will be treated like liquid water.

Temperature is the main factor determining whether a water molecule will be more likely to be in either the gas or liquid (or bound) phases. This is because at higher temperatures, water molecules (like any other molecule) will have more kinetic energy. The more kinetic energy a molecule has, the higher its probability of being in the gas phase. This is because it will have sufficient kinetic energy to break out of the hydrogen bonds and Van der Waals interactions that would otherwise keep it bound. At lower temperatures molecules have less kinetic energy so when they collide with a carbohydrate molecule, for example, its kinetic energy is insufficient to break away from it. The important point here is that at higher temperatures, a water molecule is more likely to be in the gas phase and less likely to be bound. At lower temperatures a water molecule is more likely to be bound and less likely to be in the gas phase.

Another point that needs to be explained here is the concept of relative humidity. Simply stated, relative humidity is the ratio of the concentration of water in the gas phase divided by the maximal concentration of water the air can hold (the saturating concentration) at a given temperature. Air holds more water at higher temperatures. Therefore, if you hold the relative humidity constant and increase the temperature, the concentration of water molecules in the gas phase will increase. If you think about this superficially you may think that because the concentration of water molecules increases in the gas phase as you increase the temperature (holding relative humidity constant)that your cigars will become over-humidified. This is WRONG. Remember, as you increase the temperature, the water molecules are less likely to be bound to the tobacco and more likely to be in the gas phase. Thus, to keep the same proportion of water binding sites in the tobacco occupied by water molecules, the concentration of water molecules in the gas phase must be increased when temperature is increased."


Again, cigars should be stored at 70 - 73% relative humidity, regardless of temperature. Period.
 
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