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13th February 2018The Tobacco Fermentation Process
Fermentation is the vital process that you’ll need to perfect to make wonderful wine, tea, vodka, and even cheese. Similarly, tobacco fermentation is a critical step in the process of making premium cigars, as it involves a lot of close monitoring to ensure transitions to nicotine. Not many tobacco manufacturers have shared their methods in fermenting tobacco, although the basics in tobacco fermentation procedures remain to be the similar. Keep reading to find out how the tobacco fermentation process is done.
The fermentation of tobacco is the process in which tobacco leaves release ammonia to make them palatable. Essentially, it involves sweating out tobacco leaves to transform them into something that smells and tastes great.
Natural Curation for Finer Cigars
Most premium cigar leaves are naturally cured by hanging the leaves to slowly dry for about 45 – 60 days. Using heat is a faster alternative, although it can have the potential to hinder developments in natural flavouring and is therefore not used in the production of finer cigars.
Compile Tobacco into Pylons
Fermentation can be actioned through compiling tobacco into piles, known as pylons, and increasing the temperature and humidity levels using a heater and a humidifier. It is important to make sure that the leaves that are used are of great quality because it will be easy to taste poor quality leaves in a cigar.
Monitor the Temperatures
If fermenting tobacco with the use of heat, it is critical to watch and monitor the temperatures. The tobacco leaves are placed in the heater and the enzymes within the leaves will produce fermentation via the tobacco, eliminating moisture and releasing ammonia.
Mist the Tobacco
Some places will mist the leaves with a fermentation solution (sometimes clean water is used), but this is not necessary, as the enzymes within tobacco leaves will do this naturally. The tobacco is then hung up in the air to dry for some 12 – 24 hours before it will be ready to be tested and consumed.
Time periods for fermentation will depend upon where the leaves have been taken from. Leaves from the bottom of the plant will take a shorter time to ferment, whilst the thicker leaves from the top of the plant will take longer to ferment.
Has learning about tobacco fermentation, and about all the related intricacies involved, increased your appreciation for a fine cigar? Come visit us at Alexanders Cigar Merchants and wander into our luxurious store to see how we can help you explore the world of cigars.