Tactile Dysfunction

Q. I recently noticed some of my cigars are getting soft, mainly in the center sections (this is very obvious in some of them). I moved my humidor into a cooler part of the house thinking that the temperature might be causing this. It’s not unusual for the home to reach 80 degrees inside this time of the year. The humidity in the humidor is pretty constant at 69 or 70% Am I going in the right direction?
– Bernard in Michigan

A. Your instincts were correct by moving the humidor to a cooler space. Most often, the cause of “soft” cigars is too much humidity. Of course that, combined with high temps can make them even more squishy while also making them vulnerable to tobacco beetle infestation. Moreover, you can have major burning problems like canoeing, unraveling, and splitting.

Assuming your hygrometer is accurate, try reducing the humidity closer to 65%. You can do this by removing the humidifier and see how far the RH drops within 24 hours. Of course, it may take up to a week before the cigars start to stiffen back up a bit. It’s a game of patience. Make sure that cooler part of the house where you moved your cigar humidor is also devoid of direct sun or lamp light shining on the box.

Finally, check the accuracy of your hygrometer, too, just to be sure it’s not actually reading higher than it displays.