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Home » Cigar FAQ

Bloom, Plume, and Mold

Submitted by Rob on June 22, 2008 – 9:51 pm3 Comments

Bloom or Plume (same meaning) is a cigar term that describes crystallization due to the rising of tobacco oils from within the cigar to the surface. The air will then dry the excretion creating the crystallized or dusty appearance. Bloom / Plume can appear slightly different on various cigars because every manufacturer will use a different wrapper leaf, filler, curing process, etc.

Cigar bloom / plume will not effect the cigar taste. The discussion, or the need for the bloom / plume, is that the cigar must be resting for a good period of time under great conditions of temperature and humidity. Meaning aging has already played a role in the cigar you are about to smoke. Aging is a wonderful thing: Read this.

Mold:
Cigar mold, like any other mold, is a fungus. Mold will generally appear on cigars when the relative humidity in the humidor surpasses 80%. Please do not get confused with the common misconception that mold is a certain color; mold can be green, blue, light yellow, and even white.

Visually cigar mold is more “fuzy” or “hairy”. If the scientist in you so wishes to see the spots up close you should really notice that there is a definitive structure to the mold. There will be stalks holding up additional spores that are waiting to “jump” and contaminate anything and everything nearby (isolate the infected cigars ASAP). Growth wise the cigar mold will grow in small clusters that causes a spotted look unlike bloom / plume that will cover the entire cigar.

Save the moldy cigars:
It may be possible to salvage the cigars if the mold is caught in its early stages. If however the mold is at the foot of the cigar, and we can presume inside the cigar – it can not be saved. Lightly wipe the cigars down with some alcohol (others have suggested water will do). Allow the cigars to rest at room humidity for approximately 36 hours and verify that the mold is not growing back. You may have to allow more time at room humidity before placing back into the humidor. Extreme measures can be used such as placing them in the refrigerator or freezer inside of an airtight tupperware container (cold temperature stops growth). If no mold reappears after the cigars have been re-humidified, you may smoke it.

Be careful with storing them in the freezer as you may “shock” the cigars and permanently ruin their taste. You may want to gradually step to the fridge, then freezer for a short period of time. Reverse the process to move them into a humidified state: Read This.

If the cigars were in the humidor:
The wood inside the humidor is now also susceptible to carrying mold spores inside the wood. You will have to remove everything from the humidor and wipe the entire interior down with isopropyl or denatured alcohol (start with a small amount). While this will kill any mold / mold spores in the wood. Be aware that this could also leave a slight stain on the humidor’s wood.

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3 Comments »

  • [...] Originally Posted by Sherlockholms I would tell them. Even if for some reason they have a problem with you telling at least you know you did your best to wake them up to the fact. I keep seeing pictures of mold on this forum. I'm becoming a little confused, what I've thought is bloom in pictures is turning out to be mold. What does plume look like? Mold is blotchy and fuzzy. Bloom/plume is a fine dusting almost like supper small sugar crystals. If you look closely, mold has spores (fuzzy) and blooms is a crystal. Here are some examples: Cigar Bloom, Plume, and Mold – Cigar FAQ – puffingcigars.com [...]

  • [...] Re: Newbie Question About Cigars In Tubes Make sure to check if the white spots are fuzzy or not, if its fuzzy its mold. If it is, I would just wipe it off and keep them separate from your other stash just to make sure you wont contaminate your other sticks. Heres a link to further help you out. Cigar Bloom, Plume, and Mold – Cigar FAQ – PuffingCigars.com [...]

  • Joseph Gagnon says:

    I have been fortunate in finding a small quantity of super premium cigars rich with plume. Plume used to cover one entire side of my humidor, but has diminished to almost none. I am trying to nurture this plume and re-seed my humidor with plume, but have no idea what conditions to maintain in order to encourage the growth and propagation of plume. When my humidor was rich with it, all of my cigars, even mid-priced ones tasted great. Any help you can offer would be much appreciated. My cell phone is 425-999-1009, and email is josephgagnondesign@gmail.com. Thanks so much for your prompt response.