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High humidity jitters
Q. My humidity was around 80% for a spell (because I failed to pay attention) and a few cigars seemed softer than usual. Have I ruined them or will they be OK after I have brought the humidity back to where it should be? Maybe I should let them sit outside humidor before smoking? Will it affect the taste?
– Joseph H. Thiel
A. Your instincts are correct. Remove the humidifier until it settles down to about 68%RH; that’s where I like it. (Even 66% is perfectly acceptable.) By over-humidifying them you will not necessarily ruin them, but you do invite the opportunity for them to form bloom – a white powdery substance that appears on the wrapper – or worse, mold, especially if your humidor’s temperature rises, too. Another result of high humidity is that the cigars may “explode” and crack the wrappers as the cigar begins to burn and build up heat.
As an alternative to removing the humidifier, you can just leave the humidor top open for a anywhere from a few hours to a day. I’ve had to do this a few times, myself. That will give the cigars a chance to get some drier air flow, while also allowing the humidifier to expel some of its excess moisture. Just don’t forget to close it before you go to sleep. I’ve done that, too. ;-)
As far as high humidity affecting the taste goes, usually when cigars have dried-out considerably, they can be refreshed, but they may also lose their bouquet. Since your problem is on the other side of the humidity issue, your cigars should be fine once you get them back to a “normal” standard.