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Leaf Tips - Milk Magic Crack Repair

The '80s had some wild tv shows. Many of them are still near & dear to my heart, while others are fantastically awful. There is a gem called MacGyver that I'm sure many of you remember. The dude would get out of gnarly situations on a daily basis with only the most basic items laying around. He'd grab a straw, apple core, and a piece of chewed up gum and make a hydrogen bomb to blast open the locked door. Well I have a MacGyver-level cigar hack that you might want to try the next time you have an unruly wrapper. All cards on the table, this is not a discovery I made on my own and I take zero credit on it's origin. It's something I came across at the very beginning of my cigar journey and has proven to be very useful. I just can't recall where I learned it!

We've all been there. Maybe it was due to an overeager cut, or maybe the cigar was a little on the dry side, but after snipping the cap you notice the wrapper is starting to unravel. This can be devastating to the overall experience, especially towards the last third. Don't despair though, there may be a fix. Below is a step by step guide to repairing your unraveling wrapper.

1 - Channel your inner MacGyver and take the milk container out of the refrigerator.

2 - Pour a very small amount of milk into the cap or another container similar in size.

3 - Dip your fingertip into the milk so that when you remove your finger there are a couple drops still hanging on.

4a - Start with meticulously and carefully rubbing the milk on the underside portion of the wrapper that is unraveling.

4b - IMPORTANT - that doesn't mean force your wrapper to peal away further than it already was in order to apply the milk. Don't make a problem even bigger in order to try and fix it. If the breakage/unraveling doesn't allow enough room to get underneath with your fingertip, then try to use gravity to have the milk run underneath it. On very small cracks, just apply to the outside only.

5 - After getting some milk on the underside of the wrapper, start laying it flat down back into its normal position.

6 - Continue rubbing the milk in a circular pattern (same direction as the wrapper) to flatten everything out and spread the milk around. If you see white droplets, keep spreading it around. The idea here isn't to soak the cigar in milk and take 3 days to dry out. A little bit goes a long way.

7 - Once things are snug and in place, set it off to the side to dry for a bit. I usually place it on a cigar stand, that way more of the cigar is exposed to the air and will dry faster. It should only take 30-60 minutes to completely dry and look like nothing had happened. Maybe faster if it was a small crack with very little milk applied.

8 - Now light and smoke as usual!

I've used this trick many times, from minor unraveling to 3" of wrapper hanging, and it has pulled through every time. I don't tip-toe with it, no special handling, just smoke it like usual and it performs well. For those that are curious as to why this works, it's my understanding that it's the sugars in milk that crystalize after drying and help bond things together. I use 1% milk. Will it work with skim, or 2%, or almond milk? I don't know for sure, but I wager it would. Grabbing an utter and blasting a couple squirts on your cigar will likely not work, since there is not enough sugar. Plus, that just sounds gross. Please don't.

The picture sequence:

Notice the entire cap fell right off and there is a hearty opening

Remember, don't go crazy and rip it more than it already is. GENTLE

Pour some milk and slip, slap, rub it down

No leftover droplets and evenly covered

The above video show the results. Good stuff!

I know this trick sounds a little crazy. I get confused facial expressions when I ask "Well have you heard of the milk trick?". Don't knock it 'til ya try it! Give it a shot and let me know in the comments below how it went for you. Good luck & happy milking!


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