Have you ever bought an e-liquid and found that you really weren’t happy with it? Maybe you spent some time on vaping forums and found reports from people who had similar problems and mentioned steeping the e-liquid to improve the flavor. Now, here you are, because you’re trying to find out how to steep e-juice and learn whether steeping will actually provide any benefit.
You’ve come to the right place! This is your ultimate guide to steeping e-juice. Reading this article, you’re going to learn:
- What steeping e-liquid actually is
- Why steeping may – or may not – improve the flavor of an e-liquid
- How to steep e-juice, step by step
What Is Steeping E-Juice?
The first thing you need to know about steeping e-liquid is that the word “steeping” actually refers to soaking a solid in a liquid in order to transfer the flavors or medicinal benefits from the solid to the liquid. The thing that you most commonly steep is tea. “Steeping” e-juice doesn’t actually involve steeping at all, but the vaping community uses the term anyway.
So, what actually is steeping vape juice?
When you steep a bottle of e-liquid, you’re allowing it to age in a controlled fashion. During the aging process, three things happen.
- Through repeated vigorous shaking, molecular bonding takes place. The chemical compounds in the e-liquid begin to meld and become more cohesive.
- Through exposure to air, some of the e-liquid’s volatile compounds evaporate.
- The nicotine in the e-liquid begins to oxidize and turn yellow.
What Are the Benefits of Steeping E-Juice?
So, why would you want to steep a bottle of vape juice? Sometimes, when you try an e-liquid that was made very recently, you may find that the juice tastes a little “young” or that the flavor profile has a slight edge that isn’t entirely pleasant. If either of those is the case, you may find that the e-liquid improves from steeping.
Let’s talk about the changes that happen during the vape juice steeping process and how those changes impact an e-liquid.
- Have you ever heard the aphorism that soup always tastes better the next day? That’s because, when you store leftover soup in the refrigerator overnight, the flavors of the different ingredients begin to meld together, making the soup a more cohesive whole. The same thing happens with vape juice. Suppose, for example, that you’re having difficulty enjoying a custard e-liquid because the egg note sticks out and overpowers the juice’s flavor profile. Steeping may improve that e-liquid because, with intermingling, one flavor may not stick out so much over the others.
- Some flavoring compounds are fairly volatile. That’s particularly true of those that use alcohol as a base. Some people are very sensitive to alcohol-based flavors and don’t like it when they can detect alcohol in an e-liquid. Alcohol evaporates during the steeping process, making that unpleasant flavor less evident.
- Nicotine is a very volatile compound that degrades rapidly in storage. Therefore, if you steep an e-liquid long enough, its nicotine content will decrease. That might be a good thing if you find that the e-liquid has a throat hit that’s a bit too overpowering for you.
Do All E-Liquids Benefit From Steeping?
Steeping isn’t something that you should do with every e-liquid. The most important thing to know about e-liquid steeping is that aging will not improve a vape juice that’s already perfect. Once a bottle of e-juice has reached its peak, the flavor can only go downhill from there.
The next thing to know about e-liquid steeping is that, when you buy juice made by a major manufacturer like Naked 100, a good amount of time has already passed by the time the bottle makes its way to you. The juice, in other words, has already had time to steep. The way e-liquid distribution works these days – juice goes from the manufacturer to a distributor and then to a retailer before finally getting to you – steeping generally isn’t something that you need to think about at all.
Smaller boutique e-liquid makers, on the other hand, ship their products directly to buyers and often make those juices to order. If you have an e-liquid that’s only a few days old, that juice might be an excellent candidate for steeping if you aren’t completely happy with the flavor.
In general, it might be a good idea to consider steeping a vape juice if it:
- Tastes “young,” incomplete or unfinished.
- Doesn’t meld together into a cohesive whole because some flavor notes overpower the others.
- Has an undesirable alcohol note.
- Has an overpowering throat hit.
How to Steep E-Juice
We’ll conclude the article with step-by-step instructions on how to steep e-juice. If you’ve found an e-liquid that’s a perfect candidate for steeping, all that you need is a cool, dark place for storage. A cabinet works fine. The goal is to expose the e-liquid to air in a controlled manner while limiting its exposure to light, which will degrade the flavor quality more quickly.
Here’s how you do it.
- Open the bottle of e-liquid and expose it to the air for several seconds.
- Close the bottle and shake it vigorously.
- Place the bottle in a cabinet.
That’s it! During the steeping process, all that you need to do is open the bottle, close it again and give it a good shake once a day. After storing the bottle in the cabinet and shaking it daily for a week, open the bottle and sample the e-liquid. If you’re not happy, continue the process for another week.
People who like to steep their e-liquids generally do so for about two to three weeks, although a few people have reported steeping e-juice for months and enjoying the results. As always, taste is a matter of personal preference.
When you’re steeping a bottle of vape juice, the most important thing that you can do to ensure optimal results is know when to stop. Steeping an e-liquid is aging it; it’s allowing compounds to degrade because you like the e-liquid better that way. Once the flavor reaches its peak, it’s not going to get better from there. If you steep an e-liquid too long, the flavor will go flat. You may even find that the juice is less enjoyable to vape than when it was new. Don’t let that happen!
Two Tips for Faster E-Liquid Steeping
What happens if you have an e-liquid that you want to steep, but you don’t want to wait three weeks for it to be ready? That’s what we’re going to discuss next. There are two popular techniques for steeping e-liquid more quickly. One technique increases the e-liquid’s exposure to air, and the other forces the e-liquid’s ingredients into cohesion more quickly by increasing the rate of agitation.
We’ll discuss the two techniques for faster e-liquid steeping and explain why you might want to use them.
- To steep an e-liquid faster by increasing its exposure to air, follow all of the instructions above but store the e-liquid with the cap open rather than closed. If you use this technique, remember that the e-liquid will oxidize much more quickly than it would with the cap closed. When you try this technique for the first time, you might want to sample the e-liquid more frequently because overexposure to air can make an e-liquid’s flavor go south pretty quickly. Try this vape juice steeping technique if you encounter an e-liquid with a very strong alcohol note.