We’re going to begin this article with a statement that probably seems obvious: Your e-liquid should always taste good. If you don’t enjoy the flavour of your vape juice, that’s a problem – and one of the first things that you might do for help is to start looking for advice from fellow members of the vaping community. You’re going to scan the forums and blogs for tips about how to improve your vaping experience. When you do that, you’re likely to see one particular bit of advice over and over: You should learn how to steep e-juice.
That’s going to send you down a rabbit hole – and if that rabbit hole has taken you here, you’re in luck. You’re about to learn about the process of steeping e-juice in greater detail than ever before. More importantly, we’re going to keep things simple and succinct – and that’s going to help you get started right away. First, though, let’s learn more about what steeping vape juice actually is. Are you about to unlock a completely new world of flavour? Let’s dig in.
What Is Steeping Vape Juice?
Let’s begin by discussing what steeping e-juice actually is. What is steeping vape juice? It’s the process of allowing an e-liquid to age in a controlled fashion, thus encouraging flavour melding and development to take place at the molecular level.
You’re probably familiar with the term “steeping” already, and you’ve probably seen the term used most often in reference to things like tea. Steeping is the process of using a liquid as a solvent to extract the properties of a solid – like putting tea leaves in hot water, for instance. The process of steeping e-liquid isn’t quite the same thing because there are no solids involved. You aren’t actually creating an extract because the makers of the flavour concentrates in the e-liquid have already done that work for you. It’s more accurate to think of e-liquid steeping as e-liquid ageing, but “steeping” is the term that the members of the vaping community have always used.
Why Steep Vape Juice?
The reason why you might want to steep vape juice is because you’re hoping it will improve the flavour of your e-liquid. Specifically, steeping can potentially improve the flavour of vape juice in two ways.
Alcohol evaporates out of vape juice during the steeping process. If an e-liquid uses a high percentage of alcohol-based flavours, you may experience an unpleasant sensation of hotness or harshness when vaping that e-liquid. Steeping removes some of the alcohol, which may improve the e-liquid’s smoothness.
Steeping encourages the flavour compounds in an e-liquid to soften and meld. Some e-liquid flavour profiles require a period of ageing after the initial mixing in order to taste their best. Before ageing takes place, a newly manufactured e-liquid may taste “young” or underdeveloped. The e-liquid’s overall flavour profile may be hard to taste because one flavour note overpowers the others. If you buy e-liquid from a company that makes its products to order, there’s a reasonable chance that steeping the e-liquid will improve its flavour because almost every vape juice benefits from at least a short ageing period.
An Important Note About E-Liquid Steeping
Based on what you’ve read so far, you might be under the impression that steeping is some kind of magic trick that can make any e-liquid taste better. That, however, isn’t the case. In fact, the majority of the e-juice that you can buy from Simply ELiquid and other vape shops is ready to vape when you receive it.
E-juice steeping is a technique that evolved when the vaping industry was very different than it is today. Steeping has always been an important part of the process of DIY e-liquid mixing for those who make their own vape juice at home. For commercially made vape juice, though, steeping isn’t as relevant as it once was because it’s no longer common for companies to manufacture e-liquid to order.
In the past, most vape juice companies were very small businesses. They didn’t have the funds or space to manufacture large supplies of e-liquid in advance, so they mixed the products as orders came in. When you received a bottle of vape juice from one of those companies, the e-liquid would often be just a few days old and would probably benefit from a bit of steeping time.
Today, though, the vaping industry is much more professional and structured. Most vape juice is made in large clean-room facilities, and it’s manufactured well in advance of when consumers will actually use it. After it’s made, the e-liquid is shipped to distributors who then ship it to vape shops. In most cases, a bottle of e-juice will already be several weeks old by the time you receive it. Steeping the e-juice, therefore, probably will not improve the flavour further.
What Is the Best Method of Steeping E- Juice?
There are several methods of steeping e-juice, and we’ll discuss a few of them in this article. We’ll begin, however, with the best way to steep vape juice. This is the best method because it accelerates the ageing process slightly while minimising the chance of ruining the e-liquid by taking the process too far.
Follow these steps to steep e-liquid the best way.
Open the bottle and let it breathe for a minute or two. Close the bottle tightly. Opening the bottle helps to release any alcohol vapour.
Shake the bottle for several seconds. Shaking the bottle encourages the ingredients to interact and meld with each other.
Store the bottle in a cool, dark place. While the e-liquid steeps, repeat the process of opening, closing and shaking the bottle once each day.
After about one week of steeping time, taste the e-liquid. If you’re happy with the flavour, your vape juice is ready to use immediately.
How Long Does Steeping E-Juice Take?
Before you begin the steeping process, it might be helpful to have a better idea of how long to steep e-juice. How long will you have to wait until your steeped e-liquid is ready to use? In general, e-liquids with more complex flavour profiles tend to benefit from longer steeping times. You may find that a fruity e-liquid, for instance, tastes perfect after just a week of steeping. An e-liquid with a tobacco or dessert flavour profile, on the other hand, may taste better after you’ve given it a couple extra weeks of steeping time.
The important thing to remember when you steep vape juice is that an e-liquid won’t continue to improve once the flavour has reached its peak. When you’re completely happy with a bottle of e-juice, it’s time to begin using it immediately because the flavour will degrade in long-term storage.
How to Streath Vape Juice
Let’s suppose that you’ve purchased a bottle of e-liquid with a harsh alcohol-based flavour. You’re certain that steeping the e-juice will improve its taste, but you don’t want to wait multiple weeks for the process to take place. In this case, you’re going to want to learn how to steep e-juice quickly and shorten the waiting time. There are two primary methods for speed steeping, and we’ll start by discussing the gentler of the two methods. This method is called “streathing” because it lengthens the breathing step and gives alcohol-based flavours extra time to evaporate.
Take the bottle and run it under hot water for several minutes. This thins the vegetable glycerine in the mixture and heats the alcohol. Alcohol evaporates at 78 degrees Celsius, so a hot water bath will be sufficient to turn much of the alcohol in the bottle to vapour.
Shake the bottle well.
Open the bottle and leave it out in the open for at least an hour or until the bottle’s contents cool to room temperature.
Close and shake the bottle.
Taste the e-liquid. If you’re happy with the flavour at this point, the streathing process is done. Otherwise, you can repeat the process a second time.
How to Speed Steep E-Juice
The e-liquid steeping process includes a step in which you shake the bottle because shaking agitates the vape juice, thus encouraging the molecules to interact with one another. There are ways, however, of forcing the process to happen even more quickly through the addition of heat or mechanical agitation. Speed steeping can be useful if you have a large quantity of young e-liquid, perhaps because you’re making your own vape juice at home. Here are three ways to speed steep your e-juice.
Put the bottles in a slow cooker for several hours at the lowest possible heat setting.
Pour the e-liquid into a beaker and use a magnetic stirrer to provide extra agitation.
Put the bottles in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner to agitate the bottles gently for several hours.
If you’re going to try speed steeping your e-juice with added heat, we recommend transferring it to glass e-liquid bottles first. That’s because glass is chemically inert. Plastic bottles, on the other hand, may have subtle molecular interactions with the propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine and flavours in e-liquid during speed steeping because of the heat involved in the process. Most plastic vape juice bottles are designed to be kept at room temperature.
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