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mold v plume

Discussion in 'The Humidor - Cigar Discussion' started by smokin`_cubans, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. smokin`_cubans

    smokin`_cubans Had a little
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    here is a topic that is frequently batted around the cigar community ballpark. the white areas that appear on cigars at times; is that mold or plume(bloom)? the bro-science surrounding this topic is seemingly endless and quite often...incorrect. lets define each and discuss why each develops on those lovely and often expensive sticks. mold is mold. its simply a product of poor storage conditions, generally too much humidity in your humidor over a period of time. when excessive moisture exists on an object, bacterial fungus is produced. if these bacterial spores are not removed in some fashion eventually mold with begin to appear. now mold on the wrapper isn't a deal breaker. generally, exterior mold can be wiped away and the cigar smoked--though i wouldn't. the spores that spawned the mold are still there, and toxic, after all. mold on the foot, in the filler leaf, definitely destined that prized smoke to the trash. foot mold means possible mold through the interior of the cigar, and that mold cannot be wiped away. conversely, plume is a reason to celebrate! it shows your cigar has been stored properly over an extended period of time and the leaf has aged properly and is at the height of its goodliness. cigar smoker's nirvana! plume, or bloom, as its sometimes referred to, is a natural process of leaf maturation. as a cigar ages properly, the oils, oleoresins; slowly, migrate to the outside of the cigar. once there they eventually crystalize and become visible as a white powdery substance on the wrapper--plume! plume can be wiped off before the cigar is smoked, or not. either way, a cigar with plume is a treat to smoke. as a rule, mold appears fibrous. it can be described as downey or furry. plume, on the other hand appears crystalline, like tiny salt granules. cigar bro-science is full of misinformation on this subject. "if its white, its plume". wrong. mold comes in many different colors, blue, green, black and, yes, white. "if it wipes away easily its gotta be plume". nope. it is true plume will wipe away easily, however mold will also wipe away easily if it has recently formed. so now you know.
     
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  2. Jaelipp

    Jaelipp Owns man cave
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    Solid write up David. I bite my tongue a lot on this subject as most people just either have no clue or don't want to admit they have storage issues.
    On the other hand- plume doesn't just happen. It takes closely monitored storage at just the right RH/Temp over an extended period of time. I for one have never made this happen in any of my humidors as humidity is just too high here and the fluctuation is too frequent. I have cigars that are several years old with yellowed cello and zero plume where others that have perfected this art are enjoying the rewards of plume from the very same batch of cigars I have.
    In my experience on line- 95%+ of posts claiming plume are actually mold. Ouch! Most recently an owner of a newer cigar line posted a pic of some Cubans he had bragging about the "plume"....... Without a doubt it was in fact mold.
     
    #2 Jaelipp, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  3. Jaelipp

    Jaelipp Owns man cave
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    ImageUploadedByIve Had That1385390442.630792.jpg

    One of my favorite examples on line that I tend to show those that aren't in complete denial
     
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  4. smokin`_cubans

    smokin`_cubans Had a little
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    i agree totally jae. ive kept quiet most often but your 95% mark is spot on. plume is rare. and you are correct that its difficult to achieve.
     
  5. eswary

    eswary Had way too much
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    I too agree most of what people believe is plume is indeed mold.
    Structure of the substance is key to knowing what your looking at, as David explained above. Crystalline is good! Fiberous is bad! Enough said.
    If you do by chance attempt to wipe the substance off, closely look at the wrapper. If there appears to be mark or discoloration left behind, your looking at mold. As a organism mold grows tiny roots/feet if you will, to attach to it's host. Hence not easily being wiped/brushed off. This test is not the best test, the examination of structure is the one to life by.

    That is fun chat, brings me back to my old botany lab days in college...from what I remember.

    Thanks for posting this helpful piece of info David and Jae. Hopefully this piece will bring clearity to the topic. Might even keep someone from getting sick.
     
  6. jdmitch

    jdmitch Cigar, whiskey, & beer boss
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    But... But... My buddy said...

    Viva la bro-science!

    Seriously, though, good write up.
     
  7. Eric

    Eric Grand poobah of all that I survey.
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    In my case I haven't had either mold or plume. However, I was at a cigar shop that had mold everywhere. The mold was even on the boxes and shelves! The guy thought it was plume. Moron.
     
  8. Jaelipp

    Jaelipp Owns man cave
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    Eric- MC and I had that same experience at the shop we went to in Cali. Exactly as you described. I politely informed the owner and she replied with "my customers love plume". Oddly..... I let it rest at that point. It was a nightmare though. 10's of thousands of dollars destroyed in her walk in.
     
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  9. Nick Radke

    Nick Radke Had way too much
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    Jae. I heard there was a shop in CA that had some awesome plume.
     
  10. Jaelipp

    Jaelipp Owns man cave
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    Yes nick. You did hear about that..... In the post..... Right before yours.
     
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  11. A2A

    A2A Had way too much
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    :D :D :D :D :D :D
     
  12. A2A

    A2A Had way too much
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    A dojo member had posted the picture below some time ago, said he got those Tats at a shop covered in plume AND got 10% off. I said mold, he insisted it was plume because it wiped off easily. Well...surface mold will do that. White mold is also confused with plume. Like the mythical you-nee-corn, plume isn't easy to come by. My father-in-law has some cigars that have been aging, with care, for 30 years and zero plume. I have had 2 cigars with plume, one of which was gifted to me and it DOES make a cigar taste better! Why? For the same reason free food tastes better....it isn't cooked any different....it's free! It's the same thing with Cuban cigars IMO. Anyways, check out the pic and see what you think:

    Screenshot_2013-11-25-19-51-49-1.png
     
  13. Jaelipp

    Jaelipp Owns man cave
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    Not sure the petite lance has even been out long enough to reach plumage.
     
  14. smokin`_cubans

    smokin`_cubans Had a little
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    plenty of mold there. i will say that along the seam line or maybe its a vein line, there does appear to be a white dustiness that could be plume. can they appear on a cigar simultaneously? thats an interesting thought. can mold and plume appear simultaneously on a cigar?
     
  15. A2A

    A2A Had way too much
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    Maybe it was a Cali shop o_O
     
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  16. A2A

    A2A Had way too much
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    Interesting question but I wouldn't think so, if perfect conditions are required to possibly develop plume, and over humidity for mold, dunno. Time to google.
     
  17. 302JH

    302JH Cigar, whiskey, & beer boss
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    Personally i stay away from any thing that looks like either, afraid it will affect my brain and end up looking like smokeys profile picture on the Dojo
     
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  18. C10CKO

    C10CKO Owns man cave
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    This is an interesting thread guys. Thank you.
    As a newbie (not sure how long I can call myself this, but hey!) I was always worrying about humidity dropping. Now I'm not bothered. I check it once ever couple of weeks rather than every couple of hours! 60-70 and I'm happy.
     
  19. smokin`_cubans

    smokin`_cubans Had a little
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    after talking with someone whose opinion i respect as much as anyone the cigar industry. i believe it is possible for both to occurs on the same cigar. though i bet its quite rare.
     
  20. smokin`_cubans

    smokin`_cubans Had a little
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    jae mentioned earlier in this thread how some cigars with yello cello (aged cigars) havent developed plume while others with age that have been stored in the same environment have (dont wanna misinterpret you, jae. thats what i inferred, however). i think part of that is the amount of oils inherent in each stick. take a cigar like ortega D natural. fantastic stick but the leaf used isnt generally a tremendously oily type--sumatra of some sort, i believe (wrapper)--so i wouldnt think it would be good candidate to develop plume. where as any of the AF aƱejos i would fully expect to develop plume as readily as any cigar. those babies are loooaded with oils. yeah?
     

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