You’ve undoubtedly heard about steeping if you’ve been vaping for some time now. Whether you’ve read it somewhere or heard it mentioned by other vapers, steeping has been around since the early days of vaping.
Much like how wine and brandy taste much better when aged, so does e-juice.
While many vapers don’t bother about steeping e-liquid, either they don’t have the time to do so or don’t believe in the process itself, the majority swear by its effectivity. Even manufacturers know its importance and how it changes the experience that many offer pre-steeped e-liquids.
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What Is Steeping?
The science behind steeping is pretty simple. When a batch of e-juice has been mixed, the flavour molecules hasn’t settled yet and thus, are still separated from its PG or VG base.
It takes time for PG and VG to soak up the flavour molecules properly, and the more time you leave a bottle of e-juice to settle, the more its flavour opens up.
From the lab, a freshly mixed batch of e-juice starts to steep the moment it’s been bottled and shipped to the various stores. Though you can argue that the bottle you just bought from the store has been steeped already, it will benefit you more if you give it extra steeping time.
You can use a bottle of e-juice right away, but if you invest a few days to a week of additional steeping time, you will notice how the flavour dramatically improves. Is it worth it? Many vapers seem to think so.
How Do I Steep My E-Liquid?
So how does one properly steep e-juice?
In the early days of vaping, people steeped their e-liquids by simply taking off the bottle caps and letting the e-juice breathe for several days. While this is still an essential part of the process, some steps have been added along the way.
Before starting the process, please note that when you first receive your batch of e-juice, make sure you still have some of your old ones left because you’ll need several weeks to steep your current batch before using them properly.
While not crucial, this at least gives you something to vape on without needing to interrupt the steeping process of your new batch.
Vape Juice Steeping Methods
Step 1: Resting
The first step is when you take all your new bottles of e-liquid, still capped, and place them in a cool, dry, dark place such as a closet or closed box, leaving them in for a week or two (Up to 4 weeks).
Make sure you shake the bottles every couple of days to ensure proper dispersion of the ingredients. You can also run your e-liquid bottles under warm tap water where the heat will excite the molecules in your e-liquid, thus getting them to mix faster.
Step 2: Breathing
The next step is called ‘breathing,’ which involves taking off the bottle caps of your e-liquid (and, if you can, the bottle tips as well) and letting them sit for several hours.
A few years ago, steeping was generalised as using this process alone, leaving your bottles uncapped for several days. However, experience has shown that using this process alone for extended periods diminishes the flavour and nicotine ‘hit.’
Because of this, experts recommend that when you let your e-liquids breathe, it shouldn’t be more than 12 hours. Make sure you leave an alarm or timer on to let you know when to cap your bottles again before the flavour and nicotine content starts to suffer.
Step 3: Streathing
This third process was introduced by the popular reviewer ‘Rip’ of ‘Rip Trippers‘ fame. In a nutshell, streathing involves repeating the first two processes within a span of several hours.
You shake your bottles, run them under warm tap water, remove the caps, and place them in a cool, dark place. After a couple of hours, you put the lids back on and shake them again. You then squeeze the bottles slightly to circulate the air inside the bottles. Be careful not to spill your e-liquid while squeezing.
You must repeat the process a few times to fully ‘streath’ your e-juice. It takes more time and effort than the first two steps, but many experts swear by this additional step in the process.
How To Steep E Juice Fast
Because steeping needs a good couple of weeks to be effective, this can be a problem for those who don’t have vape juice to vape on in the meantime.
If you are in a hurry and can only invest a few hours for steeping, ‘quick steeping’ is a thing. There are several ways to go about this, but we’ll touch upon the most accessible ways here.
All the methods involve heat, so it’s best to use glass bottles to avoid spillage and melting of plastics.
Fast Steeping Method #1: Use Hot Bath
The hot bath is the easiest among the quick steeping methods and the most common. You first half-fill a large bowl with warm water. It shouldn’t be uncomfortably hot. Seal your e-liquid bottles in a zip-lock bag and immerse them in the bowl. Once the water cools down, you can remove the bottles from the bag. Uncap the bottles to let the gas escape, then once capped again, shake them well. Voila. You’re done.
Fast Steeping Method #2: The Bird Bath
Like the method above, you’ll need a bowl half-filled with warm water. However, instead of submerging the bottles fully, you take the caps off the bottles and let them sit halfway in the warm water. Remove once the water cools down, cap off the bottles, then shake well. Another easy method, though much more tricky due to the threat of having your e-juice spill while waiting for the water to cool down.
Fast Steeping Method #3: The Summer Car
Another easy way for quick steeping e-liquids, this one doesn’t involve any warm water, though you can only do this in the summer. Simply place all your e-liquid bottles in a zip-lock bag and put them inside your car’s glove compartment. After three days, uncap the bottles to let them breathe for a while. Cap them back on then shake well.
Fast Steeping Method #4: The Microwave
One of the quickest ways to steep is using your microwave. Place your e-juice bottles inside the microwave, set the power on high for 10 seconds. Remove the bottles, uncap to let them breathe, cap them, then shake well. Repeat as desired. Quick and simple for those on the go.
After going through the four methods of quick steeping e-juice, you might have noticed a pattern. It simply involves heating your e-juice, breathing, and shaking it well.
If the above methods, for some reason or another, isn’t feasible for you, you can get creative and do whatever quick steeping method you can think of. Use a candle? Go ahead. Tumble dry inside a clothes dryer? Go for it! Bury under hot sand? Why not!
Just remember not to go overboard, and you’ll be fine.
Should I Steep My E-Liquids?
The slow method is the most time-consuming, though many say it is also the most effective. Quick steeping is, well, fast and easy. Is it as effective? Some say it is, while others disagree. Try as many methods as you can and find out which one works for you.
Take note that some flavours require additional steeping time, such as tobacco flavours. Others may work well with the traditional way and not with the quick way, while other flavours work best the other way around.
The key here is to experiment and have fun. It may take some time before you find the perfect method for your favourite flavours, but if you believe the hype, it is well worth it.