Everything you need to know about steeping E-Juice
What is steeping e-juice/e-liquid?
Steeping e-liquid, in its simplest form, is the process in which you allow a bottle of e-liquid (or e-juice) to the “age” or mature in the bottle. Similar to the aging process for wine, its basically the similar thing.
Steeping is a process that mixes and oxidizes the ingredients: VG and PG base, flavorings, nicotine, of the e-juice. Just like wine, steeped e-liquid taste much better and smoother. The oxidation of the ingredients replaces volatile compounds like alcohol with oxygen. The process removes the harsh perfume-like taste and also changes the color of the e-juice. So, you’ll know that your e-juice is properly steeping when you see that it has become considerably darker from the original color.
Wine uses the extracts of natural fruits (namely grapes) When you extract the flavor from a fruit such as grapes, you get a concentrated form of the fruit. However, along with the grape flavor, these extracts also contain natural alcohols or solvents. These alcohols are necessary for fruits to form the flavor of the fruit. These alcohols are safe to eat, drink, or vape. However, as you might expect, alcohols do not taste good to drink or vape. They can add a harsh or “chemical” taste to wine or e-liquid. Allowing wine or e-liquid to age (or steep) helps these alcohols to either evaporate or chemically break down and become infused with the flavors and actually enhance them. Steeping helps reduce or remove that chemical taste, harshness, and all around improve the flavors.
Unless you’re making DIY e-juice, you may or may not steep. E-liquid sold commercially are actually pre-steeped e-juice as the steeping process begins as soon as it’s mixed. From that point on, when the e-juice in the manufacturing facility, travels to the store, sits on the shelf and until you actually vape it, it’s steeping pretty much all the time. If you still get a harsh taste, steeping might be in order otherwise, you can skip it and enjoy your vape right away. For the homemade e-juices, steeping is almost always mandatory. Also to do steeping or not is also a matter of personal preferences. If you like a harsh and intense taste, you can start vaping right away, but if you prefer a smoother yet richer taste, steep out of your e-liquid until it achieves your desired taste. Steeping is not obligatory, but it does improve and enhance the overall of your vaping experience. If you have the time then do the steeping process but if not that if fine as well but you will be missing out is some of your e-juice flavor potentials. Basically, if you like a flavor, it doesn’t need steeping but if you don’t like the taste of a flavor, especially if it has a harsh or “chemical taste” then I recommend that you try the steeping to see if you like it better.
The Steeping Process
Step 1: Shake the bottle lightly for 1-2 minutes, don’t over shake, avoid creating too many bubbles (especially the very tiny bubbles), be sure to flip the bottle over at some point to make sure everything is mixed well. This is the only time in the steeping process that you will shake the bottle.
Step 2: Remove the twist off cap and store your closed e-juice bottles in a dark, cool place away from pets, children, and anyone who might for some reason drink or knock the bottle over. The goal of this step is to allow the natural alcohols and solvents to rise to the top of the liquid and evaporate. That’s why we only shake the liquid in the first step because we want the alcohols to rise to the top of the liquid.
Step 3: Let the bottle sit for about 24 hours or more and when you find yourself fantasizing about how good the juice will taste once its done steeping, you might as well walk over and give the bottle a light squeeze to get all of the air out of the bottle (without squeezing any juice out) The more times you do this the better, but don’t stress about it, even just once halfway through is okay.
Step 4: Put the cap back on and let it sit for two days. Make sure the bottle remains in a safe place at a moderate temperature and doesn’t get moved around a lot.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2,3, and 4 until you notice a change in flavor or color, if you want, you can repeat steps 2,3, and 4 for up to two weeks. You will not really notice much difference if you do it over 2 weeks.
How to speed up the Steeping process
There are several approaches to speed up the e-juice steeping process, which is to heat up the liquid and it is recommended to using glass bottles for this process.
Warm Water: this is the most commonly used technique. Fill the bowl with warm water and sit your glass e-juice bottle inside after the water reaches room temperature, remove the caps to let any vaporized volatile ingredients get out of the bottle and shake the bottles really well, and sit them in a dark, cool place. This not only helps the contents blend together but also speeds up oxidization process of your e-liquid.
Others way is to use a microwave, heater, slow cooker and any others way you can think to heat up your e-juice, if you google it then you will find many ways to help you with it.
Good Luck and Happy Vaping.