Steeping E-Juice: Should You Do It?
The flavor of e-liquid is all about perception. Some vapers believe that steeping e-juice enhances the flavor, but is this actually the case or is it all in their minds?
What is it?
Steeping is the process of aging an e-liquid in order to allow the flavor to enhance but the methods, effects, and process are all highly debated within the vaping community. The idea is that much like a fine wine or bourbon, e-liquid will improve with age. It may involve exposing it to air or occasional shakes but this is purely a technique-based debate. The principle always remains the same. E-liquids are made up of a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings and occasionally water or distilled alcohol. Steeping should help these different ingredients combine better help improve the flavor of the e-liquid.
Should You Do This?
Whether or not you should steep your liquid really comes down to personal preference. Some vapers swear by steeping their e-liquid, some believe it negatively impacts the flavor and some think it has no effect. Whether you steep or not is entirely down to you. If you’re unsure about whether or not too steep, then the best suggestion is to simply try it once and see if you notice any difference in flavor. If you enjoy do notice a flavor boost, you can experiment with other liquids. Remember, every e-liquid is different and steeping can have wildly different effects depending on the juice you decide to use.
There are several different steeping techniques but all follow the same basic set of principles. The main principal is keeping the e-liquid out of the light. The rest depends on exactly how long you wish to spend on the steeping process.
The first method is the most basic. Simply take your bottle of e-liquid and put it in a cool, dry and dark place. Give it an occasional shake to ensure the liquid is still mixed together. Some vapers like to take the cap off occasionally and let the e-liquid breathe but this has a limited effect. There is no set amount of time to do this for, it is very much a case of trial and error. Different flavors require different amounts of time.
Menthol and Fruit
Most menthol and fruit flavors require little steeping time – two weeks is usually fine for them. You should also avoid allowing these flavors to breathe because they tend to react badly to oxygen.
Most tobacco flavors are highly complex and will benefit from between two and four weeks of steeping. This time allows the subtle flavor notes to really come out. These types of flavors do not adversely react with oxygen so it is worth allowing some breathing time during the steeping process.
The vaping community loves to experiment and steeping is one area where new developments are often made. These are some of the quick steeping techniques they have discovered.
By far the simplest way is to use a stirrer. This allows air to be mixed into the e-liquid and helps all the elements combine. Some have tried magnetic stirrers as a way to further speed up this process. Stirring can have a positive effect but it is probably best if combined with a slow method. For instance, store your e-liquid in dry and dark place but every other day when you let it breathe give it a little stir too. This will reduce the amount of time it takes for your e-liquid’s flavor profile to improve.
While completely contrary to the regular rules of slow steeping, heating can improve flavor. This can be done in a number of ways. The most common method is to place e-liquid bottles in a warm water bath. Glass bottles are best for this but the melting point of plastic is much higher than that of warm water, so any e-liquid should be fine for this technique. Avoid high temperatures though because this can be very dangerous with both glass and plastic. Let your e-liquid sit in the warm water for ten to fifteen minutes. Try the e-liquid after this and repeat the process until you get the desired flavor. Alternatively, if you don’t want to use warm water, you could place your e-liquid in warm rice for the same effect.
The biggest worries most vapers have when it comes to steeping is that the nicotine content will decline, contamination will occur and that the chemical composition will change. All of these are very real concerns but generally, steeping will not cause any of these problems to occur. You only open the bottle for a little time each day which limits the risk of contamination. Nicotine tends to degrade in sunlight, not just heat. The chemical composition will not wildly change because you steep the liquid. These concerns may be valid but so long as you follow best practice there is no real risk of any of this.
Will you try steeping your e-liquid? Do you think it enhances flavor? Share your thoughts in the comments and on our social media pages.
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