If you’ve been spending time around experienced vapers, you probably have heard about the practice of steeping e-juice to improve flavour. This technique is commonly used in the vaping community to better the satisfaction derived from e-liquids.
You might have noticed expiration dates on e-juice bottles and wonder why they are there. Also, you might have noticed the improved taste of e-juices after an extended period. There are reasons for all these and we are going to share them with you in this article.
Now let’s begin by understanding the process of steeping e-juice.
What is steeping e juice?
Steeping is normally defined as the act of soaking a solid material in water to soften it or extract the flavour content- like steeping tea.
However, in the vape world, steeping takes a different meaning. You can as well describe steeping e-juice as “aging” your e-juice.
Steeping e-juice simply means allowing it to age to get a better flavour. This process allows the ingredients (PG/VG, nicotine, and flavourings) to blend together. If alcohol is present in the e-juice, it evaporates during the steeping process.
Why do we steep e-juice?
Steeping is essentially a process that helps you make your own vape juice (DIY e-juice). Most times, these DIY e-juices taste far better than a freshly made one.
Although many companies have been producing better-formulated concentrates that do not require many steeping, most flavourings do need time to blend in.
Steeping allows the ingredients in the vape juice to congeal, and as a result, the flavour and aroma of the juice become improved and smoother.
You might ask, “Why do I need to do this myself? Why can’t manufacturers sell the juice after steeping?”
Well, the truth is that most e-juice on the market have been steeped- they’re likely to have been on the factory shelf for some weeks. But you see those made-to-order juice, most of them are not steeped- they’re fresh and would have improved flavour if you let them steep for a while.
How to steep e-juice
The process of steeping e-juice is simple.
Start by keeping your sealed e-liquid bottles in a cool and dark space, such as a cupboard, drawer, or cigar box for a long period. You can shake the bottles once in a while to speed up the process. However, note that the real steeping takes time.
Breathing is quite different from steeping. Just open the e-juice bottle and allow it to sit for a few hours. This process is suitable for vape juices that contain alcohol as it helps to speed up alcohol evaporation.
However, at rainbowvapes, we recommend that you “breath” your e-juice for no more than 12 hours. Beyond this level, an unwanted object can be introduced into your bottle.
Streathing your e-juice
Streathing simply combines breathing and steeping. You start by shaking your bottles and then running them under warm tap water. After that, take the cap off and place the bottles in a cool, dark place. After two hours, put the cap back on and shake thoroughly.
When you drop your bottle of e-juice in warm water to heat up, the vegetable glycerin separates out, making it look like propylene glycol. The flavour molecules become more miscible with the thinner base. And after the glycerin cools down, the juice returns to its normal viscosity, but the flavor becomes improved.
How long does it take to steep e-juice?
The duration is highly dependent on your perception of taste.
However, fruity flavors require the lowest amount of time to steep. You can get the peak flavor from vape juices containing fruity concentrates in less than 48 hours. Creamy dessert and tobacco flavors, on the other hand, need more steeping time for the best flavor. It is advisable to allow these two flavors to steep for at least two weeks.
The major aim of steeping is to get the optimal flavor from an e-juice. If it tastes good to you after 2-3 weeks of steeping, then you’re done. But some people might leave their vape juice to steep for months. It actually depends on you. Take a close look to observe the color change- when it becomes slightly darker, then you know steeping has taken place.
If you’re going to use commercial e-juice, it is important to check your bottle to see its expiration date. Most e-juice has a shelf-life of two years, so study where your bottle is within that time frame. You may not need to steep anymore, especially when the juice is old and has lost its flavor.
How to steep vape juice faster?
It is important to first taste your vape juice to know if you’re satisfied with the flavour. If you do, then don’t bother steeping. Some vapers even love the taste of freshly mixed juice.
Speeding up the steeping process has been a subject of debate among the many vapers- some claim their method is super effective, while others believe nothing can replace patience.
However, here are some methods to steep vape juice faster:
Slow cooker: Slow cookers provide enough heat at a consistent temperature for a period of time. Start by filling your slow cooker with some water and set the heat at the lowest level possible. Place your bag of e-juice in the cooker and shake the content periodically.
Bath: Fill a bathtub, sink, or bowl with warm water- a temperature not too cold or hot, but warm enough to dip your hands comfortably. Pack your e-liquid bottles inside a sealed plastic bag and leave them in the bath. This is an easy way to steep your e-juice faster.
Magnetic stirrer: Put your e-liquid into a glass container and place the container on a magnetic stirrer and allow nature to do the rest. This method is very effective if you’re creating your own DIY juice.
Seed steeping: Seed steeping is the process of blending already steeped juice with an un-steeped juice. The seed gets planted and it helps to speed up the steeping process.
Ultrasonic cleaner: If you have an ultrasonic cleaner for jewelry or vape gear, you can use speed up the process of steeping. All you need to is fill up the cleanser with warm water and allow the ultrasonic waves to create vibrations through your juice. This supports a fast mixture of the molecules.
Keep in mind that it is possible for an e-juice to steep for too long. If you leave your e-liquid to steep for a very long time, it may start losing flavor and get stronger on your taste buds and throats. This depends on the ingredient used, and it is hard knowing it before it’s too late.
More so, allowing your juice to steep for too long may cause the nicotine content to oxidize and add an off flavor to your e-juice.
So it is advisable not to overdo steeping. And if the juice has an expiration date, do not steep beyond this set time. If your e-juice passes the nose, eye, and tongue test, then fill them into your device and enjoy.
Steeping helps to improve the flavour of e-liquids. Whether you make your e-juice yourself and buy it from reputable stores, steeping might just be what your juice needs to become your all-day vape.
Be prepared, steeping adds a magical touch but it does not cure bad juices. If you steep a bottle for a long time and you did not observe any significant changes in taste, it likely never will change.
Steeping helps the e-juice flavour to blossom, but a bad recipe can never become improved just by allowing it to steep for some time.