I have had good luck drying in my basement with the dehumidifier set at 43%. I put the green ginseng on a window screen with a small portable fan running underneath on low to circulate the air and to prevent mold. The drying process for me takes about 3-4 weeks.
I always dry mine slow and natural...no heat applied.
Washed and air dry then spread it out thin on a window screen.
I have my screen in our big walk in closet, right over the air vent, so it gets good air circulation.
HVAC System so the temp us usually around 72 degrees and low humidity.
Takes 3-4 weeks for smaller thinner roots.. 5-6 weeks for those big fat chunky roots.
I am not in any hurry to sell mine... prefer to wait for price peak (usually between Thanksgiving and Christmas)..
If I wanted to speed up the process some, I would try one of those little thermostat controlled forced air heaters (you can get a walmart) and would set it on about 80 degrees.
I am thinking no on anything else except a slight raise in air temp and room temp and maintaining low humidity situation.
Definitely no direct hot sunlight or baking in oven or anything harsh like that.
Proof... I keep several roots to eat thru the year and the way I dry mine... they are in perfect condition and keep nicely for a year in a brown paper bag in my home office. Taste great and have nice light color inside and snap nicely.
Wash them correctly, let them drain, then lay them out on a screen.
I have a big rack where I made screens 3' x 5' and when that one gets full a smaller one with screens 2' x 3'. I make them with 1 1/2\" firring strips and stretch window screen over them and staple it on. The racks they set on are made of the same material to support the edges of the racks. Both racks are about five feet tall. You can put the racks close together - maybe only 2 or 3 inches. If you have a screen of large roots, you just skip the next rack to give them more room. I leave room at the bottom to always put a small fan there which continuously blows up through the screens. This is the biggest key. When the big rack gets full, there is a lot of humidity and I often go to the small thermostatically controlled heater like TN suggests. Set them to 80 or 85 degrees and keep the fan blowing. This will help dry off the excess moisture and keep your roots from molding.
I believe there is a huge difference in drying them correctly as Frank and TNhunter described. I do know for a fact that drying to fast with a heat temp. over 85-90 degrees affects the molecular structure of the ginsenosides in the root. If anyone is familiar with the past history of the marketing and exportation of seng back in the mid and late 1800s the chinese stopped buying american ginseng for a period of a cpl. yrs. because many were speed drying them over there wood burning stoves, all sales came to a halt and the word was spread to dry them slowly and correctly. In the past five yrs. i have learned to HANG all ginseng, this is how they want them now on the market, AND THEY PAY MORE for seng dried like this. It is very time consuming compared to just laying them on screen racks. But this is how they want them now. They know when they are hung to dry because the rhizome (neck) will come out completely straight and not curled like it comes out on screens. I have 42 yrs. experience in digging, 28 yrs. in marketing have a degree in botany and i am into ginseng in a pharmacological and scientific level and believe the curing process if of the utmost importance....let is dry naturally 30% humidity 75-80 degree temp and air circulation is more than sufficient.
In the past five yrs. i have learned to HANG all ginseng, this is how they want them now on the market, AND THEY PAY MORE for seng dried like this. It is very time consuming compared to just laying them on screen racks. But this is how they want them now. They know when they are hung to dry because the rhizome (neck) will come out completely straight and not curled like it comes out on screens.
WHO wants ginseng dried this way? WHO is willing to pay more for ginseng dried by hanging?
Have you ever even dug a root in reality? You cannot straighten a ginseng neck without breaking it.
You may slander me all you wish...but do not post unrealistic claims and false information to folks here who are trying to learn. Please....back up your claims with FACTs from this point forward if you are able.
I was wondering if anyone kmows if there is any difference in drying naturally or with a dehydrator?
Natural only. Dry 1 root in a dehydrator and then snap it open and compare it to a naturally dried and you'll see a nice milky white inside the natural dried, those dried in a dehydrator when snapped open to view inside will show a clear dense outer ring with a darker white center than the natural dried will. Use a lot of fans and keep in a area that's low humidity and with temps of 70-80 degrees and they'll turn out Perfect.