Educate me on 'Cigar Bloom" please

Discussion in 'The Brown Leaf' started by Truckie, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Good afternoon Gentlemen,

    I have been a cigar connoisseur for the last six or so years. Currently getting into pipe smoking (I just recently bought a no name bulldog with sterling silver inlaid over the entire bowl for about ten bucks from a local antiques store) and was wondering about Cigar Bloom.

    I have read conflicting views on it. One person wrote it was just a normal fungus that will sour a cigar but another said it was part of the seasoning and aging of cigars. I have two humidor's (both 50 stick at about half capacity) and one developed some bloom (on some higher end Churchills no less) over the last few months. I have let it sit and have observed it, the bloom is bluish in color and not spreading to more than the cigars, no bloom on the actual humidor.

    Do I have a lot to worry about?

    If I start aging my pipe tobacco (when I actually figure out what I want and getting a pipe I can actually smoke from) will this happen too?

    Is my humidor a goner (spores) or can I clean it up?

    Please help educate me gent's!


    Luke
     
  2. It depends on if it is actually Bloom, also called Plume or if it's mold. Plume is neither good nor bad, it's the crystallization of oils in the leaf, this neither adds or subtracts from the flavor of the cigar, it's just one of the chemical changes that happen as the cigar ages. If you've got cigars with plume on them chances are it has been aged correctly, and it will be a good smoke. Plume should look crystalline and be evenly distributed over the cigar, if it's fuzzy and in patches it's mold. A few patches of mold can be wiped off and smoked, if it's over a good portion of the cigar, or in the foot, throw it away. It's more important to know the difference when you go to the cigar shop, some employees are either uninformed or disingenuous, and try to pass moldy cigars off as plumed cigar.
     
  3. Thanks Quan. The Bloom/Plum is actually on the top of the top most cigars, riding down the center of each with a small amount of spread. It looks 'fuzzy' but it might be small small crystals. I have not looked at the cigars underneath. I will continue my observation.

    Will this happen to pipe tobacco? Is there a variation in the color (these seem bluish)? I really don't want to smoke something that's going to kill me (I had a patient who burned some wood that had dried poison oak wrapped around the rounds, he inhaled the smoke and died later of respiratory failure due to his lungs being completely destroyed by the poison oak)
     
  4. "bluish in color" is mold, alas. Bloom is fairly rare, much more so that mold. A good description of bloom or plume is "starch" developing from aging. I have had seagars with plume- it really doesn't do anything to the taste but looks cool and impresses people! The Commander is correct- mold can usually simply be wiped off and the cigar smoked. Too many people get freaked when they find a spot of mold on their cigars!
     
  5. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    This hopeless without pics. Even cell phone pictures will help us tell whats going on, doesn't need to be art.
     
  6. jwhite, if I wasn't 500 miles from my humidor's I would snap one. It was just something I was thinking about while out at work. When I get back I will take a look and get some pics.

    hotreds, thanks for the info. The substance on the cigars last I saw them was running down the entire length. Seems like these might be a lost cause, this is no small amount of substance.
     
  7. What type of humidification device are you using?
     
  8. Yes- do post a pic once you can b4 tossing the smokes; even moderate mold can be wiped clean carefully with some Vodka or Everclear.
     
  9. It's a round crystal humidifier. I hope it's not infected. I just replaced the crystal's about six months ago. Might be time to look at other options if I find that the rounds are infected. My humidor's stay around 72/72 +/- 1%.

    I will snap a pic when I get back.
     
  10. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    Gotcha Luke we'll take a look when you have the opportunity.
     
  11. captp

    captp Steward Contributor

    Bloom is white. Mold is bluie or greenish. Bloom is an indication that the cigar has been well kept and is nicely aged. If it's blue/green, toss the cigars. In France you will pay a premium for well bloomed cigars. DON'T smoke a moldy cigar. Treasure a well bloomed cigar.
     
  12. captp, that's what I am trying to figure out. If it's well bloomed or moldy. I take very good care of my cigars. I seasoned my humidor's well, keep them in a temp controlled room out of direct sunlight. I even bought a home tint kit (for cars) and proceeded to tint the glass on the top of the humidor's. I really hope these aren't ruined.
     
  13. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    Saw we were all focused on your cigars and didn't answer your pipe tobacco and humidor questions.

    I find pipe tobacco much easier to age than cigars and to store long term, I have both. Pipe tobacco in the unopened tin will age just fine as it is, just place somewhere out of the way where it wont be subject to radical temp swings and its fine. Bulk or loose tobacco can be placed in well cleaned and sanitized glass jars, lidded, and put up the same way.

    If it does turn out to be mold the humidor can be cleaned but the humidifier is likely cashed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  14. jwhite, can I keep my pipe tobacco in the larger humidor that I am building? Not necessarily for humidity but more for temp control. I have a sinking feeling its going to be mold. *sigh* live and learn. It's just cigars (albiet four year old higher end stuff) but nothing I can't buy again. It's not like it's my humidor full of Cubano's...... :innocent:
     
  15. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    As long as your not swinging from near freezing to to very warm it really isn't necessary. I wouldn't keep them behind the furnace or in the attic but other than that it should be OK. Opened tins or pouches will scent a humidor and the cigars inside so maybe not desirable. Often pipe smokers like their tobacco a little dryer than their cigars but that's a matter of personal taste. I have a desk top that I keep around 60%RH that I chuck open tins into, I might have anywhere from six to a dozen open at any one time, and the in rotation tins keep fine with no problems but it smells strongly of pipe tobacco and I wouldn't put a cigar in there. I've a larger humi that I keep at around 68% for those.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  16. Update on my question.

    Finally home this weekend and I was able to do a more thorough inspection of my humidor. No mold in the humidification device, nothing extending to the wood or other cigars. I was wrong, the 'bloom' is not localized to the center of the cigars but follows the veins of the wrapping. Here are a few pics:

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    What say the masses?
     
  17. Wipe 'em off and smoke 'em! Youy ain't seen mold until:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Well I guess I didn't age them correctly. I am currently building a small winidor for my cigars and looking for a sealed cabinet for my pipe tobacco.

    I was hoping this was Plume/Bloom, guess I will try again.
     

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