How to ferment tobacco at home – simple and effective ways
Homemade tobacco has always been in demand among connoisseurs, because, unlike a store product, it has a more pleasant taste, light aroma and does not contain chemical additives. For self-procurement of raw materials, you need to know not only how to properly grow and harvest a plant, but also how to ferment tobacco at home. This is the only way to fully “reveal” its aroma and get a brighter, richer taste..
What is tobacco fermentation
Fermentation of tobacco is a natural biological process, the essence of which is to change the natural chemical composition of a plant. This is a kind of fermentation that reduces the moisture level in tobacco and neutralizes carcinogens in the composition.
Nicotine and aromatic substances are contained in plant vacuoles – special cells covered with dense membranes. During fermentation, these organic cells are destroyed, releasing starchy substances, proteins and pectins. This increases the aroma and astringency of the tobacco..
The fermentation process is necessary in order to destroy the dense shells of organic vacuoles, activate cellular enzyme systems, start the breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates with further release of nicotine. Thanks to this, the taste of tobacco becomes more expressive and rich..
How to ferment tobacco at home – activating tobacco enzymes
Fermentation, like any biochemical process, requires the creation of optimal conditions. First of all, you will need water for leaching. In industrial conditions, raw materials are placed in a container with hydrochloric acid and processed under a press for a certain time..
Leaching tobacco at home is carried out using water, which cleans the leaves of harmful substances. At the same time, the use of hot water is considered more efficient, since cold water extracts less carcinogens from raw materials..
For leaching, the tobacco must be moistened with a spray bottle and covered with a waterproof material. Additionally, you can flavor tobacco leaves by adding a little honey, rum or cognac, natural essential oils to the water.
The temperature of tobacco fermentation is very important, because the result obtained depends on this. It should be between + 45 ° C and + 50 ° C. It is impossible to exceed these indicators, since too high a temperature will simply destroy biological enzymes in plant cells..
Preparing tobacco for fermentation
The most important condition for how tobacco is fermented at home is the correct preparation of plant materials..
It is carried out in several stages.:
- First of all, the tobacco leaves need to be sorted. Go through the leaves and discard all burnt, rotten, black spots.
- Peel the sorted tobacco from the veins and cut into small pieces.
- The next stage is the languor of the leaves. Sprinkle the tobacco with a spray bottle and let it sit in the room for 8-10 days. The leaves should become elastic and not break when bent.
- After languishing, the tobacco is dried. This can be done by stringing the leaves on a string and hanging them in fresh air, under a canopy, or scatter them on a tray and leave them in a well-ventilated area..
- Moisten dried tobacco leaves abundantly from a spray bottle and cover with gauze, sprinkle again and leave for 1-2 hours.
Regardless of how tobacco is fermented at home, plant raw materials must go through all stages of preparation. To check its readiness, squeeze a few leaves in the palm of your hand – they must be soft and elastic, but in no case wet, otherwise fermentation will fail.
How to ferment tobacco at home using effective methods
There are various ways to ferment tobacco at home, which do not require special devices and devices. Vegetable raw materials can be fermented in the oven, microwave or Russian oven.
The most difficult, but effective is the fermentation of tobacco in the Russian oven. Its happy owners will need a minimum of time – just sprinkle the dried leaves from a spray bottle, pour them into a plastic bag and place them on the melted stove bench..
The oven must be heated twice a day for 7-10 days. For flavoring, honey can be added to the water for spraying tobacco – 1 teaspoon per glass of water.
Under the sun
Fermentation of tobacco under the sun is a simple and safe way to obtain high-quality, safe and aromatic raw materials. Ultraviolet light destroys pathogenic microorganisms and prevents the development of mold, significantly extending the shelf life of tobacco.
For fermentation, sprinkle the leaves evenly on a metal tray. It is advisable to use metal surfaces, as they heat up well during the day and “give off” heat throughout the night. Duration of fermentation – 8-10 days, depending on weather conditions.
In the microwave
Fast fermentation of tobacco in the microwave is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to fully control the temperature of raw materials processing.
How to ferment tobacco in the microwave:
- chop the leaves finely, sprinkle with water or wine;
- pour into a plastic bag;
- leave it near the heating radiator to dry for 1-2 days;
- place the tobacco in the microwave, turned on at minimum power, for 35-40 minutes;
- repeat the procedure 3 times.
Microwave tobacco can be fermented in other ways. Pour the cut tobacco leaves into glass jars and cover with saucers. Place in this form in the microwave, turned on at minimum power. After half an hour, remove and let the jars cool. Repeat the procedure 4 times.
In a multicooker
To ferment tobacco in a slow cooker, roll the leaves into rolls and transfer to canvas bags. Set the temperature in the multicooker to 50 ° C and put the bags in the bowl in layers. Cover the steam escape valve with a sheet of foil – this will keep moisture inside the device and will not evaporate.
Three times a day, all layers of tobacco leaves must be mixed for uniform fermentation. It will take at least 3 days to complete the process, after which the aromatic raw materials can be tasted.
Cooking in a fermentation cabinet
A special fermentation cabinet ensures the highest quality and most efficient fermentation. Thanks to this device, all leaves are evenly processed along the entire length, without absorbing foreign aromas. The cabinet allows you to simultaneously ferment large volumes of raw materials with minimal time consumption.
You can buy a fermentation cabinet or make your own using materials at hand. This will require:
- wooden boards;
- metal carcass;
- heating elements – heat guns, infrared lamps, heating elements;
- electrical wires and switch;
- metal grates.
Also, for the manufacture of a fermentation cabinet, you will need liquid glass or refractory impregnation, nails, self-tapping screws.
Making a fermentation cabinet
Self-production of the fermentation device is carried out in several stages..
How to make a DIY tobacco fermentation cabinet:
- Cut sheet metal and corner profiles to the required size. Weld them together, and inside the structure, weld metal corners to fasten the gratings.
- Shorten the wood planks to fit the cabinet and apply a fire retardant.
- Nail the boards inside and outside the structure, cover the corners at the joints with metal profiles.
- Attach the door to the drawer using metal hinges.
- Attach the lock to the door and the side of the drawer.
- Using self-tapping screws, attach metal or wooden legs to the base of the structure.
- Attach the heating element to the base of the box. Infrared lamps are fixed on the sides of the box.
- Attach the sensors, regulators and controller, after which the electrical wires are laid outside the structure.
In the final step, install the doorknob and attach the metal grilles. Additionally, the structure can be painted with a special paint for radiators.
Storing tobacco after fermentation
Tobacco contains an increased concentration of free nicotine and essential oils, which guarantee a long shelf life – up to 4-5 years. There are several ways to store tobacco after fermentation..
For this purpose, hermetically sealed containers are used – plastic containers, ceramic or glass jars, wooden boxes. You can also use fabric pouches or plastic bags with zip fasteners.
It is advisable to keep the container with fermented tobacco leaves in a dry, dark and well-ventilated area..
Fermentation of tobacco is an important process of preparing it for use, helping to enhance the taste and “reveal” the tobacco aroma. There are several simple and effective ways to ferment raw materials that you can use at home..