Step 4: Fermentation and the DIY Fermenter
Cigar tobacco producers ferment tobacco naturally by creating huge piles of air cured leaves. Essentially creating a compost heap where the internal temperature is carefully monitored along with the humidity levels.
Basic idea of the home chamber is to simulate the internal temperatures of a tobacco pile as seen at tobacco production facilities. Basically you need heat (approx 120 degrees) and humidity of about 75%, if this can be sustained for approx 4-6 weeks, fermentation will be complete.
In this fermenter, these conditions are achieved by a light bulb heat source, directed by a reflector dish towards the pile of air cured tobacco under it.
Paper towels misted and saturated with distilled water is placed on top of the cured tobacco hands with some plastic wrap over it to hold in the moisture, I do a good deal of misting with distilled water about twice a day.