If you’ve been vaping for some time now, you’ve no doubt heard about steeping. 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 too does e-juice.
While many vapers don’t bother about steeping e-liquid, either they don’t have the time to do so or just don’t believe in the process itself, the majority who do 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 fairly simple. When a batch of e-juice has been mixed, the flavor molecules hasn’t settled yet and thus, are still separated from its PG or VG base.
It takes time for PG and VG to properly soak up the flavor molecules; 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 form the store has been steeped already, it will benefit you more if you give it extra steeping time.
It’s true 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 flavor greatly improves. Is it worth it? Many vapers seem to think so.back to menu ↑
E-Juice: The Process
So how does one properly steep e-juice?
In the early days of vaping, people used to steep their e-liquids by simply taking off the bottle caps and letting the e-juice breathe for several days. While this is still an important part of the process, some steps have been added along the way.
Before we start the process, take 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 properly steep your current batch before you use them.
While not crucial, this at least gives you something to vape on without needing to interrupt the steeping process of your new batch.
The first step of the process 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, and leaving them in for a week or two.
Make sure you shake the bottles every couple of days to ensure proper dispersion of the ingredients. It’s been also said that you can 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 together faster.
The next step is called ‘breathing,’ and this 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 has been generalized 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 flavor 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 it’s time to cap your bottles again before the flavor and nicotine content starts to suffer.
This third process was introduced by the popular reviewer ‘Rip’ of ‘Rip Trippers‘ fame. In a nutshell, streathing involves repeating the first two process within a span of several hours.
You shake your bottles and run them under warm tap water, then remove the caps and placing them in a cool, dark place. After a couple of hours, you put the caps back on, and shake them again. You then squeeze the bottles slightly to circulate the air inside the bottles. Be careful not spill your e-liquid while squeezing.
It is recommend you repeat the process a few times to fully ‘streath’ your e-juice. It takes a bit more time and effort than the first two steps, but many experts swear by this additional step to the process.back to menu ↑
Because steeping needs a good couple of weeks to be effective, this can be a problem for those who don’t have anything to vape on in the meantime.
If you are in a hurry and can only invest a few hours for steeping, there is such a thing called ‘quick steeping.’ There are several ways to go about this, but we’ll touch upon the easiest ways here.
All the methods involve heat so it’s best to use glass bottles to avoid spillage and melting of plastics.
Method 1: The Hot Bath
The easiest among the quick steeping methods, the hot bath is also 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.
Method 2: The Bird Bath
Similar to 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.
Method 3: The Summer Car
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 awhile.
Cap them back on then shake well.
Place your e-juice bottles inside the microwave, set the power on high for 10 seconds. Remove the bottles, uncap to let breathe, cap them then shake well. Repeat as desired.
Quick and simple for those on the go.
After going through the above four methods of quick steeping e-juice, you might have noticed a pattern. It simply involves heating your e-juice, letting it breathe, then 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 off. 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.
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Should You Steep? Or Shouldn’t You?
The slow method is the most time-consuming, though many say it is also the most effective. Quick steeping is, well, quick and easy. Is it as effective? Some say it is, while others disagree. If you can, try as many methods as you can and find out which one works for you.
Take note, that some flavors require additional steeping time, such as tobacco flavors. Others may work well with the traditional way and not with the quick way, while other flavor 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 favorite flavors, but if you believe the hype, it is well worth it.