So confused and dismayed


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Hope I posted this in the right section...

 

hello all

 

so I have been aging cigars for a long time, over 20 years, and have seen every possible issue, from beetles to dry cigars etc, but I recently stumbled upon two boxes of the same release that looked scary, tremendous amount of white stuff on them!

I had seen some white stuff before, but never this much! So I immediately isolated them from my home walk in humidor and wiped them clean, the stuff comes off easily, no residue at all except a sheen on the wrapper.

 

they smell wonderful, no white stuff on the foot of the cigars, walk in has constant circulation as an AC and aristocrat humidity control are installed. Temp always between 68 - 72 humidity is at 68 most of the time, sometime goes up to 70, sometime goes down to 62 if I forget to fill in the water tank for a few days, but fairly stable overall.

 

so is this mold? Plume doesn’t really exist as per your excellent study posted in these forums? If it is mold whatever type, what do I do? I found a few more boxes with the stuff, though nothing quite this bad!

 

I am hesitant to smoke them for health reasons, and really hate to throw them away as they seem fine after wiping gently!

 

oh, and as per my other cigars, some have green blotches on them.

 

please help!!!!

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Thanks for the feedback so far. Looking forward to hearing some more advice.

 

I am still confused after reading so much online, main questions:

 

can I smoke these?

 

what do I need to do before smoking them?

 

is this to be expected or a bad situation? How can I prevent this?

 

I have a walk in with 200+ boxes, never saw this bad a situation, what’s weird is it’s just this release, two boxes. The other boxes are ok, some have white stuff but fairly controlled 

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Also, after cleaning, three cigars out of one box have green blotches on them, I have seen this many times as in small blotches, but since this box was covered in white stuff I am a bit concerned.

 

is this green stuff actual mold? The bad stuff? Dangerous to smoke?

 

really heart broken, don’t want to chuck these expensive cigars that I have been aging but definitely don’t want to smoke something that could seriously damage my health

 

51 minutes ago, Cigar Surgeon said:

The rare /r/cubancigars cross post!

Yes, it's mold and always mold. As long as it isn't in the foot I've always wiped it and been good to go. The key would be to eliminate the conditions that created mold in the first place. You mentioned your humidity goes up to 70 at times, I'm guessing it probably has exceeded that as well.

I would recommend bringing your humidity down to cap out around 67 at the high end.

Haha, yes posted on Reddit and discovered it was full of people just posting without knowing what they are talking about.

 

I am glad I headed here, I am sure someone with experience will kindly take the time to inform me on what to do

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The green spots occur during the original tobacco leaves drying process, some spots (thin or otherwise) may dry quicker than the rest of the affected leaf, locking in the chlorophill and retaining the green pigmentation (intentionally done for candela wrappers). These spots are observed from time to time on cigars and don't seem to impact flavor or burn significantly.

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If you find mold on the foot and you are worried that it might be inside the cigar too, you can always cut a few mm or a cm in, starting from the foot (the wrong end so to speak) to check things out and unravel the tobacco. This will give you more confidence, if not certainty that they are ok. 

I would also not use the actual wooden box anymore and get a neutral transparent plastic box (Ikea or Amazon have plenty of good options depending on where you live) to keep them in while you reassess if the mold comes back and throw in Boveda there.

Good luck and I wouldn't worry too much. 

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9 hours ago, Cigar Surgeon said:

The rare /r/cubancigars cross post!

lol, no doubt!

I'm going to be a lazy jerk and just post a link to my earlier comments:

https://www.reddit.com/r/cubancigars/comments/u7gzrm/never_saw_anything_quite_like_this/i5f61qh/

and for SEO purposes :

https://www.reddit.com/r/cubancigars/comments/u7i8re/comment/i5f8aws/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3I

9 hours ago, Fakhm said:

discovered it was full of people just posting without knowing what they are talking about.

The peanut gallery turns out to be full of shells.  Don't worry, we have all the nuts here 🙃

 

3 hours ago, traveller said:

Also maybe check the calibration on your humidity control system? Either via getting another digital hygrometer or calibration of the one built into your control, they can drift over time.

Quotin' up a storm over here.  Good call here on calibration - in a similar vein, replace the batteries!  I've found digital hygros to either drift as the battery power gets low or get stuck without refreshing the temp or humidity.  

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My two cents which might be worth less - after wiping them off, I’d try maintaining a lower temp if you can and lower humidity. Try keeping temp below 70 and humidity below 68. 

The green spots are native to the cigar and not due to your storage. They won’t affect flavor or burn at all. 

Best of luck!

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As others have already mentioned, the RH numbers you’ve shared, both the assumed average being a bit high, and the fluctuations wreaking havoc, are likely contributors to this. I’d venture to guess the majority of us here stick to a 62-66 range, rarely does anyone prefer higher. 

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I run my Aristocrat at 65% and rarely, if ever, see mold on my personal stock.  That being said, I’ve smoked many cigars from which I’ve brushed off mold and they’ve been just fine.  In fact, if I’m being honest, sometimes moldy cigars have tasted better.

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Thanks for all the feedback gents.

 

so brush them off, let them sit for a couple of days. And proceed to smoke them is the advice

 

By the way after checking the walk in I found out the likely culprit. It wasn’t high humidity or temp.

 

I have a back up humidifier, that hasn’t had the filter cleaned in over 2 years. I don’t even look at it. As I was cleaning out the entire room I opened it up and it was filled with dirt, likely from particles from the cigars. This has probabely been the cause of the mold

 

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So completely cleaned out the offending humidifier, pic attached.

 

also attached are the smaller humidifiers I will use for now.

 

I have taken a picture of the corner where the large one sits, looks fine no mold anywhere. Do I need to clean it out as well, as in wipe the walls? Is there a product that is recommended to deal with mold?

 

thanks for your advice guys 

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Crap. I am going through the entire stock and this one box of EL Romeo De Luxe cigars that was stored on top of the offending humidifier look absolutely horrible. This is bad mold, looks disgusting 

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So the stuff cleaned off easily, they now look and smell great. I have isolated the worse affected sticks in a dry humidor and placed a 69% no Veda in there.

 

My question to you, taking all that into consideration, would  you smoke them if no more mold shows up after a week or two?

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All mold pictures.  Looks like the splits on the RA Libano's may have got too humid at one point.  I have had odd boxes that get moldy and everything else is fine.  I think just a minute amount from the cigar's previous locale is all it takes.  Wipe down and I rarely see it come back.

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I am sorry for posting so often, but I still don’t have a comprehensive answer to what needs to be done, this is important to me as I have invested a tremendous amount of money and time into this hobby, and most importantly I M very emotionally invested in these cigars after aging them for so long.

 

yes not checking the filter was a stupid thing!

 

do I freeze the cigars? If so just the affected ones or all of them? Do I wipe the cedar wood of the wall in? Keep or discard the boxes with infected cigars? The ones that don’t show mold yet, do I freeze those as well? It’s going to be a hell of a hassle but if it has to be done...

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1 hour ago, Fakhm said:

I am sorry for posting so often, but I still don’t have a comprehensive answer to what needs to be done, this is important to me as I have invested a tremendous amount of money and time into this hobby, and most importantly I M very emotionally invested in these cigars after aging them for so long.

 

yes not checking the filter was a stupid thing!

 

do I freeze the cigars? If so just the affected ones or all of them? Do I wipe the cedar wood of the wall in? Keep or discard the boxes with infected cigars? The ones that don’t show mold yet, do I freeze those as well? It’s going to be a hell of a hassle but if it has to be done...

1) Any cigar that doesn't have mold in the foot is ok to be smoked. Clean the mold from the wrapper, check the smell (if it smells musty, toss it), if it smells good smoke away. Mind you, it might be overhumidified, so it might be tight, burn poorly or not taste the best, which brings me to the next point

2) It's not just the mold in the offending humidifier that is a problem. There is mold on every single cigar you buy, you just don't see it. When you see the mold it's because it's a mold overgrowth and it's usually caused by excessive humidity. You can take any cigar that looks perfect and clean and put it in a sealed container with an open glass of water and I guarantee that it will develop plenty of visible mold. The fact that those Ramon Allones had a split foot points to the fact that they were exposed to excessive humidity. Which is why I think you should be a bit under the optimal humidity level with your Boveda, not over with a 69%.

3) What to do with those boxes? I don't see a point in freezing them. Mold doesn't die with freezing temperature, it just goes dormant. My advise would be to take the boxes with moldy cigars, wipe all the cigars, wipe the boxes if they show any mold, then take those cigars with the boxes (leaving the lids open) and put them inside an airtight tupperware box with a couple of 62% Boveda  packs. I would wait a month or two and then if everything looks good smoke away. If they taste good after that you can put them back in the walk in.

Hope this helps!

 

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1 hour ago, Fakhm said:

I am sorry for posting so often, but I still don’t have a comprehensive answer to what needs to be done, this is important to me as I have invested a tremendous amount of money and time into this hobby, and most importantly I M very emotionally invested in these cigars after aging them for so long.

 

yes not checking the filter was a stupid thing!

 

do I freeze the cigars? If so just the affected ones or all of them? Do I wipe the cedar wood of the wall in? Keep or discard the boxes with infected cigars? The ones that don’t show mold yet, do I freeze those as well? It’s going to be a hell of a hassle but if it has to be done...

Step 1, relax. 

You've received plenty of advice about what others would do in your spot.  Nobody is going to direct you on what to do.  I doubt anyone here knows how to comprehensively answer "what needs to be done".  All we have is suggestions based on experience.  Since no one here has mentioned freezing, that advice must be coming from somewhere else.  Nobody said you were stupid either.  I don't know what you're expecting from the forum but you are getting answers to your questions.  If you don't like or agree with the suggestions, I'm not sure what other help you are expecting to be offered.

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I haven't seen mold in a while. If I were you I'd keep your humidor closer to 60RH at less than 70 degrees F.  62RH at 65 degrees suits me.

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That was quite restrained for @PigFish

I for one know that I don’t know this stuff. I’ve just settled on a stable solution that works for me: steady and moderate ambient environment, conservative passive humidity control. I almost never get any mold (very occasionally a little dusting), and everything smokes well out of the boxes.

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On 4/20/2022 at 7:29 PM, Fakhm said:

Here are some pics after wiping

          :drool::drool:   :hungry:

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