Shisha Tobacco Fermentation – Learn to Make Quality Shisha

Through shisha tobacco fermentation, you will add unique flavor and taste to your hookah tobacco.

Therefore, you must handle the fermentation process carefully for the best results.

Why Fermentation is Important in Shisha Tobacco Manufacturing Process

Shisha Tobacco Fomentation
Shisha Tobacco Fomentation

There are many reasons why shisha tobacco fermentation is a critical process during the manufacturing process. These include:

  • Fermentation helps to improve metabolism and blood sugar control.
  • Shisha fermentation helps to control the quality of shisha tobacco.
  • Fermentation of shisha tobacco helps in reducing offensive odor and degrading harmful substances.
  • It helps in producing a specific flavor that one requires.
  • Fermentation helps to break down nutrients present in shisha tobacco.
  • Fermentation in shisha tobacco helps to reduce the chance of bad bacteria to survive.

Ingredients for Shisha Tobacco Fermentation

There are several additives that play a major role in fermentation like coffee, cocoa, ginger, cumin, etc. These additives help to increase the content of total sugar, alcohol, alkenes, kenotic, and acid aroma components in tobacco leaves.

The main ingredients include:

  • Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Water
  • Tobacco leaves

1. Sugar

Sugar is added during fermentation and plays a major role in adding flavor or casing and humectant. Sugar also promotes tobacco smoking because it helps to generate acids that neutralize the harsh taste present in shisha tobacco and the throat impact of tobacco smoke.

Sugar also generates acetaldehyde which has addictive properties and acts synergistically with nicotine in rodents.

2. Molasses

Molasses is used in fermentation to help stimulate and increase the rate of silage acidification by providing fermentable sugars. It also helps in reducing pH value thus increasing lactic acid.

Molasses is diluted with water before fermentation to help keep its sugar Percentage.

3. Tobacco Leaves

Tobacco leaves play a major role in fermentation. Without the tobacco leaves no fermentation can take place.

4. Water

Water is one of the main ingredients in shisha tobacco fermentation. Water is mainly used to impact the quality and taste of fermented shisha tobacco. It contains chemicals additives and minerals.

Water is often treated with chlorine and fluorine to prevent bacterial contamination thus helping to destroy unwanted bacteria during fermentation.

5. Fruit Flavor

Fruit flavor gives shisha tobacco a different taste and preference while smoking. It also helps in increasing the number of shisha tobacco consumers.

Shisha Tobacco
Shisha Tobacco

Types of Shisha Tobacco Fermentation Techniques

Broadly, when it comes to fermenting shisha tobacco, you can choose any of these techniques:

  • Stacking fermenting
  • Klin fermenting

Even as you choose the best shisha tobacco fermentation depending on your production capacity, there are variables you must consider. For instance, you must consider:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Time
  • Air

Usually, they determine the success and quality of the final product.

Stacking Fermenting Tobacco for Shisha

The shisha fermentation technique is only viable for large-scale production processes. The process involves:

  • Weighing tobacco say 100lbs per bundle
  • Wrap each in a burlap
  • Allow it to sweat until the temperature gets to 40 degrees Celsius
  • Break down the stacks to remove tar, ammonia, and nicotine.

Klin Fermenting Tobacco for Shisha

If you intend to produce shisha tobacco on a small scale, then adopting this technique is a viable option for you.

The Klin is a small container that is well-insulated. Once you put the shisha tobacco, an artificial heat will help in the fermentation process.

Steps in Shisha Tobacco Fermentation Process

Shisha Tobacco Manufacturing Process
Shisha Tobacco Manufacturing Process

Step 1: Selecting the Best Tobacco Leaf

This is where quality tobacco leaves are selected based on their characteristics like flavor, texture, and aroma. Different varieties of tobacco leaves may be blended in order to achieve the desired taste or preference.

Step 2: Cleaning and Preparation

The selected tobacco leaves are cleaned to remove impurities and dust. This process can be done by hand.

Step 3: Curing Process

Curing is the process of allowing the moisture to be removed from the tobacco. After curing the leaves are removed carefully and bunched into gavillas or hands of five. These bunches are then laid in short piles, which help to generate heat.

A thermometer is inserted into the middle of the pile through a long PVC tube until the temperature reaches 95°F. The bunch of gavillas are shaken to help remove the excess moisture and help them stay cool.

Reassemble the piles and repeat the process again for about 30 days. The leaves are then sorted into wrappers, binders, and fillers with the thick stem being removed from the latter.

Step 4: Allow the Mixture to Ferment Further

After putting them back together again, the leaves are piled into bigger burros about four to six feet tall. They are then re-humidified which expedites the fermentation.

Some packing and unpacking occur over the course of about sixty days. The length of the fermentation also varies with the type of shisha tobacco leave you will be using. These steps have a great impact on the flavor and aroma of the shisha tobacco.

Step 5: Placing Tobacco and Mixture in Barrels

In this process, the tobacco leaves are placed in barrels at a low temperature and the main aim is to give the tobacco a richer and more naunced flavor.


Shisha tobacco also known as hookah is a combination of tobacco prepared in molasses and flavored with fruit flavors. To obtain this flavor Shisha tobacco fermentation process plays a major role during the entire process.

More Resources:

How is Shisha Tobacco Made – Source: Jochamp

Hookah – Source: Wikipedia

Shisha Tobacco Manufacturing Process – Source: Jochamp

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