Cold Maceration: What it Means and Why You Want it for Your E-Juice
If you’re a vape fan, you may have run across the term “maceration” when you’re checking out different e-liquid blends. The term most often pops up in relation to naturally extracted tobacco liquid, since it’s an integral step in the NET vape juice process.
The process of maceration has been around forever, or at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians. In its general sense, maceration refers to process of softening or separating a substance into parts by steeping in it liquid.
A general overview of the maceration process involves:
- Placing cut or crushed plant material into a closed container
- Adding a selected solvent, known as the menstruum
- Letting the substance steep in the menstruum for an extended period
- Straining off the liquid portion of the mixture, leaving behind a solid residue known as the marc
- Pressing the marc, if needed, to ensure the last of the desired substance is extracted
- Filtering, clarifying and using the liquid for its intended purpose
Where and How Maceration is Used
The Egyptians used it mainly to create skin creams and perfumes. They’d first chop up their chosen herbs, spices, flowers or resins, then steep the substance in hot oils. The mixtures would then be strained and stored, with the aromatic fatty extracts serving as a perfect potion to rub into their skin.
The same type of process is still used to create some essential oils, where flowers are steeped in hot oil. The hot oil ruptures the cell membranes, then absorbs the essence that’s released by the flower. The mixture is filtered, with the botanical debris discarded and the essence-infused oil bottled and sold for aromatherapy use.
Variations of maceration are also used in other industries. Winemakers use it to steep grape skins in their surrounding juice until the juice absorbs the proper amount of color, aroma and tannins to produce the desired taste. The pharmaceutical industry uses it to extract and use the medicinally active part of plant tissues.
And, of course, NET vape liquid makers use it, steeping tobacco leaves to extract the genuine taste, aroma and essence of the tobacco for use as flavor in their eliquids.
Heated vs. Cold Maceration
You may have noted the ancient Egyptians used hot oil in their maceration process, and others may also use heat to speed up the overall process. A heat source would be added when the solvent is added to the substance, with the heat coming naturally from the sun or through the use of electricity, gas, fire or any other heating method.
While adding heat to the maceration process can greatly reduce the time it takes to complete the process, you’re paying a hefty price along the way. The same way cooking vegetables can degrade or destroy certain nutrients, heating up a substance during maceration can likewise kill off some of the desired traits you want to keep.
Cold maceration, which relies solely on patience and time for extraction, always results in a superior end product. And we’re not kidding about needing time and patience. The cold maceration method used by Black Note, for instance, lets the cut tobacco leaves steep in the solvent of PG and VG for six to eight weeks to before the eliquid flavor is ready for the next step.
Such a lengthy period of steeping without the addition of heat results in a tobacco extract that:
- Is softer and more nuanced
- Features the most delicate tobacco flavor
- More closely preserves the signature flavor notes of each tobacco variety
- Eliminates bitterness and harshness
- Delivers a smoother vape experience
Cold maceration ensures the pure flavor of natural tobacco is maintained and, while it may take much longer than heated maceration methods, the end result is worth it. When it comes to the best e juice that truly captures the subtlest flavors of genuine tobacco, cold maceration is the route to take. We’ll definitely stick with the saying that notes all good things are worth the wait, which definitely applies to the finest tobacco ejuice.
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