The hard part is over and now it is time to begin fermenting garlic, this process requires patience, because it will take 40 days. After a few trial runs, which can be found on my blog
, I found that the best vessel to put the garlic in was an aluminum baking pan.
Start with 2.5# of fresh cloves of garlic, place them in an even layer in the baking pan, cover with plastic wrap (make sure to wrap the baking pan all the way around to ensure a nice tight seal), then a layer of aluminum foil. The purpose of the plastic is to keep the humidity in, the foil helps keep the heat even. Set your thermostat to 140 degrees, close the door, and hurry up and wait. I found that after the garlic has started it requires very little attention, the room that the box is in will smell of fresh garlic and will gradually change to a nice roasted garlic smell. My first batch of garlic was started in my living room, after 40 days my clothes smelled of roasted garlic, not necessarily bad but I eventually moved the box to my garage.
After 40 days open your pan of garlic and take in the glory, you should be able to gently peel back the paper like skin protecting the clove and visibly see a color change. If it looks black then you are headed in the right direction, next grab a clove and squeeze it between your fingers, it should turn into a paste. If it does not and it still feels firm then you have not achieved a finished product. This usually happens when the heat is uneven, wrap the pan again with plastic and foil and continue to ferment for an additional ten days. I found that having the pan sitting on some wire racks so it was elevated to allow the air and heat to circulate, I was able to make the product in 30-35 days.
The next step is the drying process which can take three days to a week.