Step 3: The Curing Process
Curing is a 3 part process:
1) Drying (color curing): to take out majority of the moisture.
The best way to do this is pictured on step 1, hang leaves to dry and let nature take its course: Gather your harvested green leaves, use a zip tie at the stems and bundle into 1-4 leaf bunches, (be sure to allow air between the leaves, if the leaves stick together, they will mold). This process takes about 3-4 weeks.
2) Fermentation: Sweating out ammonia, and a few other complicated chemical processes. Fermentation also stabilizes the leaf so that it doesn't decompose further in storage.
Fermentation is the trickiest part, and is what this instructable is intended to outline. Fermentation is the limiting factor for hobbyist!
3) Finally aging which we are all familiar with, which includes factory storage and storage in a humidor.
There are several ways to ferment at home. This is a cheap and accessible possibility to achieve the conditions required for fermentation.
I personally didn't run into any problems, but this set up is risky and definitely not UL rated . I do not recommend that anyone follow this procedure, please use discretion with the project. I did have a hard time sleeping at night with the chamber light bulb on. The light was plugged into a ground fault interrupter outlet so that if it overloaded, I would have a small means of safety at very least. And I always unplugged the light when leaving the house. Unplugging would have some impact on the fermentation process depending on the length of interruption, but better to unplug than to not have a house when you get back.