freezing cigars


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Probably not. From what I understand, eggs won’t hatch unless there is a sustained temperature of 80F (about 27C) over a few days. You should be fine. But as others have said, freeze anything that you get that is either hand rolled or you obtain from Cuba. 

this is just my opinion. I’m not an expert. 

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Hey Brian,

You're most likely OK if you can maintain those temps and it's shorter term storage anyway.  The real disaster scenario is a beetle outbreak in longer term storage that you don't catch right away.

I used to freeze everything as per the Japan Tobacco chart that BUCK POSTED (no need to yell :P ).  I started freezing everything after finding a single hatched out beetle in a PSD4 tubo from Germany, so things to get through the freezing rooms in Cuba.  However it's a pain in the ass and I've slowly fallen off the wagon.

So now my LT storage is in water tight tupperdores (risk control just like Buck does), in a temp stable cellar (65F).  I fill a new tupperdore and let the cigars settle to their Bovedas (65%) for a month and then saran wrap and close up the Tupper for a nice long nap.  But freezing everything would be safer.

As to the proper use of the chart, knowing your freezer temp is crucial.  Some home freezers aren't all that cold, so measure yours first.  If you do the ASININE REFRIGERATOR ADVICE :P  then use the Acclimated larval chart (24 hours at -10 rather than 12 hours).  I think most of us who have done the freezing thing have tended to do 2 or 3 days anyway.

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I have frozen everything since about 2014.

Had the shock of my life again last night, have recently moved back to the UK,my sea shipment of personal items was received at my permanent residence last Friday when I moved back in there. Has been 3 months since packing those away for shipping.

Opened one of a few large black plastic humi boxes (Xikar/Cigar Caddy type) that I used to move my smoking stash. Was looking to pack a few sticks for a herf tonight. Came across a Boli Super Corona with 2 beetle holes in there. Scared the hell out of me. Did not have the time to look at the whole box but likely will refreeze everything in there for peace of mind.

Interesting point about not putting them in the fridge before hand, something I have done most of the time however from now in they go into the freezer straight away. After having frozen several hundred sticks it's safe to say most of us pamper way too much and they are much more resilient than we think.

I am guessing over the period of shipping and storage there may of been some sustained high temps.

The Boli in question has made it into the stash for tonight. Burn that f*&ker!

 

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16 hours ago, Buck14 said:

One Very Important Note: If you decide to freeze your cigars, NEVER put them in the refrigerator prior to the freezer. Some suggest doing this to avoid shocking your cigars and thus somehow causing the wrappers to crack. THIS IS ASININE ADVICE! By adding a refrigeration stage in between the room temp and freezer stages you allow the beetles / larvae / eggs / pupal / etc. an opportunity to acclimate to the lower temperatures potentially rendering your freezing completely ineffective or at a minimum greatly increasing the freezing times stated in the chart embedded below.

Asinine advice is a bit strong, IMO. I'm not an expert on larvae or eggs, but your reasoning doesn't make much sense to me. Is there any scientific evidence that an acclimatisation from the larvae/eggs would impede the impact of lower temperatures? To me it's like saying that if I put a book near a heater that will stop it from burning once I throw it in an open fire. The final temperature should have its desired effect, no matter what came before.

In fact, as per your own chart, enough time in the refrigerator at, say, 5º C, would eventually kill the larvae/eggs anyway - so how could a small period at that same temperature before and after the freezer stop that death from happening?

I've read some people arguing that there could be moisture issues in the fridge, and that the cigars do not need that acclimatisation period in order not to crack, which could very well be correct, but I really don't see how it could stop the killing process of the larvae/eggs.

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1 hour ago, TheMonk said:

Asinine advice is a bit strong, IMO. I'm not an expert on larvae or eggs, but your reasoning doesn't make much sense to me. Is there any scientific evidence that an acclimatisation from the larvae/eggs would impede the impact of lower temperatures? To me it's like saying that if I put a book near a heater that will stop it from burning once I throw it in an open fire. The final temperature should have its desired effect, no matter what came before.

In fact, as per your own chart, enough time in the refrigerator at, say, 5º C, would eventually kill the larvae/eggs anyway - so how could a small period at that same temperature before and after the freezer stop that death from happening?

I've read some people arguing that there could be moisture issues in the fridge, and that the cigars do not need that acclimatisation period in order not to crack, which could very well be correct, but I really don't see how it could stop the killing process of the larvae/eggs.

Yah, my (relatively uneducated) thought as well. Your book analogy is better than anything I could come up with, but if eggs will "acclimate" to the refrigerator, thereby negating the impact of freezing, why wouldn't they acclimate to 70F after being kept at that for months/years on end? And that's just 10 or so degrees from too high, and alleged hatch-range. Take it 65 degrees lower for a day or two and that's going to allow the eggs to outsmart temperature and brace themselves for freezing?  I dunno. It's entirely possible that's all true, but at least at a surface level, it makes no logical sense at all. 

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I have never frozen cigars, never been to Cuba, and keep humi at 65/65. So I don't worry.  But was curious, has anyone ever used dry ice to freeze? As it get much colder. Like -80 C. Just wondering since some that do freeze, may not have a freezer that reaches desired temp.

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On 6/19/2019 at 6:52 PM, Buck14 said:

One Very Important Note: If you decide to freeze your cigars, NEVER put them in the refrigerator prior to the freezer. Some suggest doing this to avoid shocking your cigars and thus somehow causing the wrappers to crack. THIS IS ASININE ADVICE! By adding a refrigeration stage in between the room temp and freezer stages you allow the beetles / larvae / eggs / pupal / etc. an opportunity to acclimate to the lower temperatures potentially rendering your freezing completely ineffective or at a minimum greatly increasing the freezing times stated in the chart embedded below.

My freezer ranges between -2F and -4F but I use the 5F (-15C) guideline for freezing times below to give myself a very wide margin for error.

Screen shot below of Temps and Times from the Paper Cited Above.

 

Ummm.  No.   So under the same logic, you can avoid dying in sub freezing temperature as long as you hang out in 40 degree weather for a day and "get used to it"  I never heard this before and is just nuts.

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8 minutes ago, Monterey said:

over long period of time, not 1 day.  I store my cigars at that temp (60) for most of the year.

Agreed, just pointing out that our intuitions may not be calibrated for insect larvae. I would also be shocked if a day in the fridge turned these things into, well, The Thing, but I wander through life in a constant state of amazement and confusion anyway.

I think what the paper says is that if my freezer doesn’t go to -10 °C I’m screwed. I’ve got a mercury thermometer in there and at the coldest setting it’s -11 °C. This is just a normal fridge, not a deep freezer, and it looks like I’m okay.

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I freeze everything incoming. Been in the cigar hobby 30 odd years, and the worse thing is losing cigars to beetles. We have a commercial grade chest freezer. Besides the fact it gives you extra room for frozen food it also is capable of -10 degrees F temps which are perfect for cracking any potential beetle eggs. And I have never cracked/damaged any wrappers due to freezing/thawing etc.  Cigars are really resilient. From what I read the freezers in Havana they use to freeze mastercases  of cigars only go down to around 14 degrees F. Not very cold. IMO, the colder you can freeze them below zero F, the better. I have never had a beetle outbreak since.

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I freeze everything incoming. Been in the cigar hobby 30 odd years, and the worse thing is losing cigars to beetles. We have a commercial grade chest freezer. Besides the fact it gives you extra room for frozen food it also is capable of -10 degrees F temps which are perfect for cracking any potential beetle eggs. And I have never cracked/damaged any wrappers due to freezing/thawing etc.  Cigars are really resilient. From what I read the freezers in Havana they use to freeze mastercases  of cigars only go down to around 14 degrees F. Not very cold. IMO, the colder you can freeze them below zero F, the better. I have never had a beetle outbreak since.
Have you had an outbreak in the past? If so, under what conditions?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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If you are going to freeze, but are unsure whether to put them in the fridge first or not, there is an easy solution. Start with either method, pop them in the freezer, then promptly forget about them for a week or two. When you do remember, pop them in the fridge to slowly thaw out. 

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I've always stuck to the advice that there is no need to freeze anything unless you buy it directly from the island, whether that be boxes, singles or customs.
Anything purchased through FOH or other merchants should have already been frozen before it left Cuba.

I've never frozen anything from FOH/Czars and I have never had a beetle outbreak. I keep my temps at 18C and my humidity for ageing at 65%RH.
 

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8 hours ago, IanMcLean68 said:

I've always stuck to the advice that there is no need to freeze anything unless you buy it directly from the island, whether that be boxes, singles or customs.
Anything purchased through FOH or other merchants should have already been frozen before it left Cuba.

I've never frozen anything from FOH/Czars and I have never had a beetle outbreak. I keep my temps at 18C and my humidity for ageing at 65%RH.
 

All boxes (including singles that were once in a box), regardless of being sold on the island or for export are frozen by Cuba. As I understand, PCC does a second freeze.  So FOH cigars have been frozen twice.  As are most cigars sold outside of Cuba.

Customs are the only thing not frozen.  But due to poor storage conditions on the island, cross contamination is possible so it is wise to freeze yourself anything from the island.

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What about CCs from Mexico? I picked up some vintage sticks from the partagas store in playa del Carmen. You think it’s necessary to freeze them?

 

How long do you all let acclimate after freezing before smoking?

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I freeze everything I buy in Spain and Italy. they don't care much about temperature control in their walk in humidors and store shelves. sometimes humidity higher then it should be as well. and they have a lot of aged cigars from the period before Habanos SA started to freeze cigars.

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