Bring 4 cups (920mL) of regular water up to a boil. Once it boils, turn it to a low simmer. Whisk in the salt, pink salt, syrup, and sweetener. Continue whisking until the salt and sweetener completely dissolve.
Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, and vinegar. Remove from the heat.
Fill a 4 cup (920mL) measuring cup with ice. Add water to the cup, so the end result is 4 cups of very cold, mostly ice, ice water. Whisk this into the hot brine. This will cool it down, more quickly.
Place the brine in the refrigerator and allow it to chill, thoroughly. It shouldn’t take long.
While the brine chills, you can trim your loin of any fat or sinew on the surface. Frankly, I don’t do this, as I believe the fat is good and the sinew will just be sliced through when the time comes to enjoy it. I’ve personally never found it to be an issue, as far as loins go. However, if you’d like to trim it … trim away!
Once the brine is chilled, fold back the top of a vacuum pack bag, or a 1-gallon sealable freezer bag. Place the loin inside the bag, then carefully pour the chilled brine into the bag. Seal the bag with a vacuum pack machine, or remove as much air as possible, then seal the bag with your fingers. Place the bag in the refrigerator. I went for 4 days. Turn the bag over, at least once a day. I essentially flipped the bag around, each time I opened it. This helps the brine permeate the flesh evenly.
After 4 days, open the bag, discard the brine, and wash the loin. Dry the loin as much as possible, then place on a rack, over a baking tray or casserole pan and allow it to rest, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a further 24 hours. This will allow the pellicle to form.
The next day, set up a smoker (or turn on your oven) and stabilize the temperature at a range between 200° and 225°F (93° to 107°C).
Place the dried, cured loin in the smoker or oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150°F (66.5°C). This will take between 2 and 3 hours.
Once the desired temperature has been achieved, remove the bacon from the oven or smoker, wrap in parchment paper and set somewhere warm, allowing the muscle to relax and absorb moisture back into the flesh, for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, slice and serve!