Instructables

5 dollar cigar humidor- turn cheap gas station cigars into import quality

Picture of 5 dollar cigar humidor- turn cheap gas station cigars into import quality
Likefine aged cigars but don't want to fork over the cash for an aged import? Niether do I. I'll discuss the basics of cheap cigars, what aging is, and what you need. The list is simple and can be had at any dollar store, most of these item are in your home right now;
- a foam cooler or any platic air tight lidded box of a good size. don't use a paper box
- a sponge
- a small container for the sponge (a soup/soda can, or a small plastic food container is ideal)
- a pair of scissors, a knife, or your hands if you are able.
- cigars (machine made is just fine, and the focus of this lesson)

I encourage the use of Phillies Titan cigars, with are the cheapest by volume cigar (as low as 65 cents on various internet shops)

for a review of most of the machine made cigars on the market (the brands which are nationwide and have/will remain stagnant for decades), please check out the following blog;

http://anotherjackassopinion.blogspot.com/

sorry for the poor pictures.
 
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Step 1: Machine made cigar basics.

Picture of Machine made cigar basics.
Tobacco leaves have natural oils, chemicals, flavors and scents that if given moisture, heat and time, with produce a darn fine smoke. A lot of people are down on machine made cigars, and it's easy to see why, as most of them (when straight from the cellophane or box) are dry, tasteless, chemical scented and awful. That freshness label is the enemy. Machine made cigars use chopped leaves in a tobacco sheet wrapper. They don't have paper or dirt or fiberglass, regardless or what you may have heard.

The problem with machine made cigars is that the tobacco is sprayed with an incindiary chemical that will help the tobacco burn. This chemical, when inhaled to the mouth, gives the effect of kerosine or rubbing alcohol.

Tobacco leaves naturally contain ammonia and nicotine, which taste horrible. Aging will remove the bad sensations of your cigar and give you a fine smoke. The vast majority of cigar leaf is call "carribean basin tobacco". This is a generic term for Honduran, Costa Rican, Carribean, etc. leaves that are discarded for any number of reasons (veins in leaves, wrong color, odd texture to the fingers).

They are good leaves, but not attractive, and they sometimes burn unevenly so they are not used for handmade expensive cigars. But we don't care about looks, do we? Lets turn some cheapies into goodies.
lkirilenko3 months ago
Tried this method: kept cheap cigars in 80% humidity and 35 C temperature for about 1.5 months. Result: smells better, but the taste is the same cheap stogie, uhh (. Don't know if this method worked for someone else here. From my point of view, it is the same as if you "super-marinade" a bad meat for your barbecue - the origin of a taste is a good basic product itself, and no way the method you cook it. But anyway thanks for your strong support of local manufacturers - this is bery actual for me too these says!
Mayam781 year ago
I'm just curious where the theory behind your method comes from honestly. I've heard the same discussed elsewhere a few times and there always seems to be a majority that insist a cheap cigar is all one will ever be.This could very well be just plain old snobbery or people just repeating an "urban myth" (for lack of a better term) so much it becomes assumed truth. I wouldn't pretend to know if your method is effective or not but I do know there are at least a couple cigars sold at the corner store that I can enjoy, and of course some I can't. Same holds true for the upper echelons of smokes too though.

There is one particular question I have though. My knowledge of cigar production (limited greatly to mostly just book knowledge) is that most producers age their stock at a temperature of roughly 60 dgrees F (usually for years). In general I've always understood that temps below that or much more than 78 F are detrimental for various reasons. Of course the RH they're kept at is important as always too.

I'm by no means above enjoying a G y V Crystal from 7 - 11 :). I've just never bothered to try aging them as I've always understood the aging process to take some time and seldom worth undertaking on the consumer's end. Besides I enjoy them right out of the tube. If nothing else though your instructable has inspired me to buy a couple packs and experiment on them with varying times and RH. Maybe I can finally know the truth at least for myself, whether the high mucky mucks of cigardom will accept it or stry from their $30 a piece smokes :).

Thank you for posting this for us :).
ponso3 years ago
hi, I'm just starting to appreciate cigars. Can you recommend a smaller cigar for me to use? The titans are to big for me. Great instructions, I bought all the equipment except for the cigars, so I'll start it soon.
Pwag ponso1 year ago
Backwoods are a nice 15 minute cigar.
If you don't like titans, try the smaller chocolate phillies. Sure, it's not just tobacco, but they are philly, and thay are much smaller. If you don't like those, you can also try Captain Black.
mattybock (author)  ponso3 years ago
Try phillies or swisher sweet brand cigarillos, which are basically cheroots of a commercial nature. These cigars are the single most popular size in European nations because of the little time needed to smoke them.
The average smoking time is about seven minutes, but one may not leave you feeling satisfied, this has given many Americans in Europe over to the habit of smoking seven cigarillos a day!
The great thing about cigarillos is that they are even easilier to find than full sized cigars at any gas station. Abstain from flavored varieties.

They are wonderful with a cup of creamed fair-trade coffee (which must be roasted at home from green beans, takes four minutes in a skillet, never buy pre roasted or pre-ground coffee in the can, world of difference) and a slice of chocolate cake.
If one day you choose to give full sized cigars some time, try one with Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer- the highest quality macrobrew in America, and a ham and cheese sandwhich. Best evening snack in the world.
ponso mattybock3 years ago
thanks, I'll give them a try.

coffee roasting is definitely on my To-do list.

I can't drink a Pabst; I'll sub Sam Adams instead with a Royal with Cheese.
fegundez12 years ago
Add to your Walmart comments, the meat sold at these "retailers" is toxic mush especially the beef. The beef sold at walworld is actually a beef product, made out of an injected solution (as much as 25%) and the cut of beef. That is why they put an always tender and juicy sticker on it, also why the meat shrinks by 25% when cooking! So instead of saving you are actually paying 25% more for a nasty unhealthy product. How do I know this you may ask, I am a butcher by trade and for some years Tyson Foods (another illegal alien hirer) has been trying to get ALL beef and pork distributors to sell this product exclusively, in the literature they even say you will increase sales because the consumer will need to buy more!
ex923 years ago
dude not cool importing and exporting is what made america what it is its people who don`t see the right cycle that get us in a depression
mattybock (author)  ex923 years ago
Not quite. Here's how an economy works; two nations have goods and funds. Nation A buys goods from nation B, after this transaction Nation A has goods, but no funds. Nation B has funds, but no goods. The lack of goods can be made up for by manufacturing more goods, this is something Nation B does often, so Nation B has no problems.

Nation A has no manufacturing, and the goods they have purchased will not last forever, so Nation A is in a bad way indeed.

The US is Nation A, we make little to nothing here, even the cars of Detriot are basically assembled out of Chinese and Mexican parts. The lack of a manufacturing base is why our nation is in an economic craphole, and has been slipping into one since the later 1970s.

So- by American goods rather than imports, it keeps jobs and money within the United States and say no to imported goods and say no to Walmart. Eventually American manufacturing will rise again. Easy, huh?

ps- google made in america for list sites of manufacturers, such as union shirt supply which has union made t-shirts of american fabric for about 6 bucks. Also consider looking at my instrucable "how to save to American economy.
So then based on the Nation A and Nation B platform; the US is a weak country that is full of problems, while Honduras, India, China, Nicaragua, Laos, Mexico, Guatemala, and Taiwan are all successful countries that have plenty of money and goods. Wait, what?
ex92 mattybock3 years ago
yeah and do you know where the materials for those shirts come from ??

most likely they come form foreign countries

and stop bagging on walmart its designed to keep people employed so quite
mattybock (author)  ex923 years ago
The majority, 85% at this point, I think, use cotton grown in the southwest and the south, mostly upland cotton harvested by citizens using john deere equipment, also American made.

Walmart is designed to deliver goods at low prices, all the while making large profits from it's stock holders and paying it's employees so little that they cannot afford to shop anywhere else but walmart.
They use sweatshop goods and are ruining our economy. ps- I used to work at walmart, I know it's abusive practise first hand. My dad, a machinist and tool and die maker, is loosing work to chinese goods of shoddy quality at a shoddy price.
So- don't buy imports, buy american and encourage export of american goods.

Have a nice day.
Nice, you could also add some cedar wood chips for the humidor smell ;), still... a Cuban is a Cuban even if you plate a Phillies Titan with gold!
mattybock (author)  Hakam Al Kemawy3 years ago
I've had two cubans in my life, both from an ex-pat cuban. They were both near plugged and with too much nicotine and too little flavor.
It matters not where a cigar is made, as the best cigar in the world can be right next to the worst, in the same box and wearing the same band.
Anyhoo, the folks who wish to use this guide oft cannot afford a 25 dollar cuban, wither way- imports are evil. Buy American.
Ragnarocker3 years ago
If I'm not mistaken, the incindiary chemical is toluene. It burns slowly, or rather it keeps things burning. It's also used in TNT --- Tri Niro[glycerin] Toluene mix.

Happy smoking!
mattybock (author)  Ragnarocker3 years ago
Toluene is used in some tobacco products, mostly in drug store pipe tobacco (ei. captain black's extra goopy ghetto blend)and pipe tobacco cigars (ei. black and milds). The most common additive chemical is cigars is gylcerin (used in the making of nitro glycerin). This chemical keeps the tobacco moist, but makes the leaves stale quickly with collected and stored humidity.

Wax lining on a wooden box, a little costly for my taste. Hope you had the box pre-thought, rather than paying for it.
Ragnarocker3 years ago
hello everybody! I just made 1 week with my newly made cigar humidor. I used this instructable as a guide and came up with something quite interesting.

I used: Candle, 2$ box, 20 cent sponge, a small steel bowl, and some baking soda.

The candle was for making the lining of the woden box so that the wood wont warp. (I rubbed the wax into the wood, and melted it further with a heated steel bowl)

When I assembled the above mentioned materials to make a humidor, I had wet the sponges with hot water (the sponge already inside the steel bowl) for heat, and added some baking soda on the side.

The baking soda helped eliminate any possible formation of mould or fungus. ***Baking soda kills fungii*** and did not affect the flavour of my cigars. Try it!

It did however reduce the overall scent when I opened the box.
cepartin4 years ago
Hmmm.  It took me a while to figure out what you were doing with this.  In the spirit of this instructable, then, might I suggest adding some cedar into the box? 

Get some old (wooden) cigar boxes from a cigar store and break them into planks and set them into the contraption.  If your aging humidor does, in fact, leech out the chemicals, I would imagine that you would have to change the cedar planks regularly. 

Exactly how cheap are the cigars?  Muniemakers are a good, relatively cheap machine-made brand. If you're doing this to Garcia y Vega, White Owl, Dutch Master, Phillies, etc., you might just be polishing turds.
nb109 cepartin3 years ago
You're thinking of Spanish Cedar, which is a tropical cedar from Mexico. Not the same as your typical, plain cedar that'd you'd pick up from Home Depot or a lumber yard. It doesn't have as strong a smell and it handles the high humidity without warping, which is the primary reason it's used in Humidors. It's used to line the walls to prevent the wood used for the exterior from warping.

It's also highly resistant to termites, molding, and decay.

Really, you need a real humidor with an air tight seal to age cigars properly.
mattybock (author)  cepartin4 years ago
i tried cedar planks once. they were from a lumber yard (it's the exact same cedar used in cigar boxes), the flavors did blend, but not incredibly well. there is talk of the cedar oils blending with the cigars among cigar snobs, but that is a myth. it is the smell of cedar which is in the cigar, not the actual flavor.

i use phillies titans, which are the cheapest by volume cigar i have yet found (do age age dutch masters, they turn yellow and are awful) from jrcigars.com there are 50 count boxes for around 35 dollars.

all machine made cigars are essentially the same (exept flavored and dutches), they are all made with caribbean basin tobacco, but because they contain leaf viens, produce a heavy bodied smoke, much like a cuban maduro. out of the box, these cigars are bad because of the added chemicals and poorly blended flavors, that is why i have made this intructable- to turn crap domestics into import quality.

please look at the google-blog under the name "mazoolo the clown" or the title "machine made cigar reviews" for more info on individual cigars, and what to expect.
This is all very intriguing -- I've always been fascinated by the cheapo cigars.  Good instructable.
hammer393 years ago
Can I put the cigars in with the humador I already have or will it affect the taste of my more expensive cigars. Thanks for the tip on the cheap cigars. I smoke cigars with my friends on Sundays after bowling, and plan on doing a taste test between a fresh pack of Titan and the ones I'm about to age. As a minor note, you seem like a nice fellow, and mean well, but this site is a do it yourself site and not a political site. I go to other sites to learn about such things express my views. But since it's been brought up, I think you should research the Coca-Cola issue a little more. Also keep in mind that Wal-Mart hires a elderly and the handicapped were other places will not. There is actually a group of people that boycott against Wal-Mart because quote "I don't want to be waited on by a bunch of retards" their words not mine. I watched the green channel a lot, and one thing I take away from it a lot of other people don't seem to, is that when they visit the sweatshops to show the deplorable conditions, the fact that these people that work there say that without that job their families would starve. My point being that if we all stopped buying the stuff tomorrow next week their families would starve. Another show that I enjoy is Penn and Teller's BS. If you've not seen that show, I suggest you give it a try.
mattybock (author)  hammer393 years ago
i am a fan of penn and teller as well! the cigars WILL impart and anomia like sent and flavor to your older cigars until they are both aged until the gylerin, anomia and methane is out of your economically concious stogies.

After a day you will have a cigar with poor to no flavor, after three days you will have just a lousy smoke. In week you will have a decent cigar, but the methane will be off putting. After two months, you will have a fine cigar. Remember to fill your sponge often, and air out the humidor daily for the first two weeks.

While it is true that sweatshop labor is a paying job, it is a problem that must be subplanted by union labor and localized growth, versus export centered work. Yes, it puts food on the table, but in time sweatshops must be phased out and replaced by local service and semi-manufacturing economies.

Please chec out the blog that has been linked to this instructable. because different makers use different leaf blends, chemicals and flavors are not identical for aged machine stogies. Such as the fact dutch masters turns yellow and puts of tar laiden smoke after aging (a horrible experience). Thanks you for the comment!
dude... nice rip at corprate america you should culture jam
mattybock (author)  biofueljunke4 years ago
i don't think it's really an attack on corporate america. Corporation are not inherently bad, but allot of them have done for pretty unethical stuff (such as using cheap labor, but headquartering in te US because of low taxes.) if one thing can be said about corporation that is indeed positive, it would be that they hire people en masse, rather than sole proprietorships, and mom/pop stores, which normally hire 2 or 3 of thier own relatives. please look at the tutorial i did called "how to save the american economy". i will be putting up an additional page to that tutorial that encourages people to change their veiw of thier government. Thanks.
finaly someone with an even stable view but open mind
mattybock (author)  biofueljunke3 years ago
A question, friend. how are those cigars turning out for you? btw, i probably mentioned this elsewhere, but keep in mind that Phillies titans are the cheapest by volume cigar money can by (amount of leaf to pennys paid), I smoke these daily after a 2 month aging.
another good trick is to just place a glass of water fresh from the micowave into the humidor. this is faster than the hot towel trick, but can breed mold easily.
avoid dutch masters, as they turn yellow and sour. they are made with cigarette tobacco!
black and mild cigars with cavendish pipe tobacco also age and mellow quite well in this arrangment. A three month old black and mild tastes like chocolate, belive it or not!
seamaas4 years ago
also in the Disney movies there are part which have profane items like in Aladdin any time the genie appears there is smoke or something if you pause the movie you can see profane words this is one example
haidaraida4 years ago
so basically this is just get an airtight box and put wet sponges in it then close it?
mattybock (author)  haidaraida4 years ago
basically, yes, but the materials you use can determine if you get nice cigars, or a pile of mold and fungus. use plastic or wood, never cardboard or paper, and put the wet sponge in a container. the hot towel trick really helps. thanks for the comment.
wats the hot towel trick?
mattybock (author)  haidaraida4 years ago
that would be in step 5. place a hot washcloth, fresh from the dryer (or whatever) , into the humdor, and a large towel (or many towels) on the humider. the heat will make the water in the sponge super-humidify the cigars, and cause rapidly accerated aging, and leeching of bad chemicals. don't do this more than once a month, as it raises the possibility of mold on one's stogies.