Tobacco drying up and fermentation. Part 2
Thanks to what cigar tobacco differs cardinally from, for example, cigarette tobacco? The matter is that tobacco that afterwards will be used for cigar manufacturing is subject to double fermentation. During this process tobacco acquires necessary properties and qualities.
Fermentation is chemical reaction of organic matters transubstantiation into inorganic matters under the influence of humidity and temperature. First fermentation in a mandatory manner is made for all sorts of tobacco leafs not depending on where will they be used afterwards. Tobacco leafs are laid in piles with the height from 50 centimeters to one meter. These piles are called pylons. Quantity of leafs in one pylon can reach 1500. Leafs laid in such piles during 30 days are stored in dark closed premises.
All tobacco that is used for Cuban cigars of Premium class manufacturing is subject to double fermentation. The exception, perhaps, are only, Cohiba cigars, to manufacture which are used tobacco leafs that went through three fermentations. However, quantity of fermentations have small influence on cigars' flavor as important is total duration of fermentation but not their quantity. Many Non-Cuban cigar manufacturers ferment their tobacco 5-6 times.
Thanks to its own humidity of compactly laid in pylons leafs natural tobacco fermentation takes place but light absence and high temperature in premises speeds up and strengthens this process. During fermentation in tobacco leafs is reduced content of tar and nicotine and also are formed new flavor and aromatic compounding.
Except tobacco aroma strengthening and flavor softening, during fermentation the leaf color changes -from golden-yellow they become dark-brown. And the longer the fermentation process is, the darker the leaf become.
After the end of first fermentation tobacco leafs must be sorted and classified. Leafs that meet the quality requirements will go for producing cigars of manual rolling, but tobacco that doesn't meet quality requirements will go for producing cigars of machine rolling, cigarillos and cigarettes.
The remained tobacco is sent to further procedures: leafs that will be used for cigars' cover will be sent to aging, while tobacco for binding and filling to second fermentation during which tobacco flavor and aroma will be finally balanced. As a rule, this procedure lasts from 45 to 90 days. Duration of second fermentation depends on from what part of tobacco bush the leaf were taken.
After finishing the procedure of second fermentation tobacco leafs again are sorted according to color, strength and aroma after what they are sent to aging that may last from 6 months to several years.