To Steep or Not to Steep?
Did you even know that e-juice and steeping was even a thing? To be honest when I first started vaping, I had no idea about it and wouldn’t have even thought so. However, have you ever just purchased your favourite flavour, topped up then thought, hang on, this tastes different? If the bottle has already been sitting on the store shelf for a week or two, you may not notice. It has been freshly made to order on the other hand is probably when you may have noticed a difference. So what is steeping and is it necessary? Does it even do anything? Some say yes and some say no, so lets look into it in a little bit more detail and you can make up your own mind.
What is Steeping?
According to Google Dictionary “Steep” is a verb and means “soak (food or tea) in water or other liquid so as to extract its flavour or to soften it”.
Many different consumables use steeping as a method for that reason, enhancing flavour. Some such as wine and whiskey are already done for you and some you do yourself at home like tea. This method isn’t just used for beverages, slow cooking something like a pasta sauce for a ridiculously long time or eating it the next day, you get better flavour. The same happens with e-liquid when it has time to “develop”.
When different ingredients are put together with others, some molecules need time to get to know each other and bond. If they haven’t had enough time to do that, you may experience a lack of lustre. Each flavour works a bit different as some are naturally stronger than others, could be why some think there is no need and others do.
E-Juice and Steeping
I assumed in my naivety as a newbie that e-juice was like a wine where you purchase a bottle and everything is already done for you. However, from time to time I did notice that sometimes my e-juice tasted a little different and wondered why. After a bit of research, it made sense that ingredients needed time to infuse for a better result. Little bit unfortunate that its not like a tea where it only takes 2-3mins but lucky enough to not be like a wine that can take years. There are some benefits to steeping and a few methods you can do that can either speed up the process and others that can slow it down.
How to Steep
Ok so we have established that this is a time thing, but for how long? There are many factors to consider as some flavours are naturally stronger than others anyway so you might not even notice a difference. If it is a fresh made bottle and it’s just sitting there it can take a few weeks for flavours to bond with VG and PG but there are some ways around not having to wait as long. Fruity and coffee flavours generally don’t need as long to steep whereas flavours like dessert and tobacco may take a bit longer. Time wise, again being taste its such a personal preference and each to their own.
Most Popular Methods
- Good Old Time – Store your e-juice in a cool, dark place away from sunlight so a cupboard or draw is ideal. Giving it a shake every now and then will help the molecules blend together a bit faster. Now the time frame for how long to do this will vary from person to person. It can take a week to over a month.
- Good Vibrations – You can speed up the process by setting your bottle in a Ultrasonic Cleaner. This inexpensive devices normally clean items like jewellery or you may have one to clean atomisers. It uses high-frequency, high-intensity sound waves in water to remove particles stuck to surfaces. With e-juice it can speed up steeping with the vibrations helping the molecules bind together faster due to the constant vibrations.
- Shake n Vape – Personally, regardless if it has time to steep or not, I always shake before I top up my tank. Some ingredients even when steeped can separate if the bottle has been sitting still. So like a can of hairspray before use, a good shake will help mix everything together for a even distribution.
- Slow it Down – If you have bought a flavour in bulk, a way to slow the process down is by storing it in the fridge. I repeat, fridge not freezer, its not mince you bought on sale for a Bolognese in two weeks time. Cold temperatures will slow down the normal molecule mixing process and help prolong the life of your e-juice. When you are almost ready for your next bottle, take it out of the fridge and still leave it in a cool dark place for a bit. The normal steeping process will start again.
There are other methods including using heat exposure to speed things up however personally, these are the easiest.
Do You Need to Steep?
Short answer is no. It is a personal preference but there are a few factors to consider such as what the main flavour is and when it was made. If you find the taste isn’t to your taste it could be as simple as it hasn’t had enough time to develop.
So, if you’re noticing a difference maybe give some of these methods a go. If you have other steeping methods, let us know! After some more e-juice? You can find your flavour here, Standard Range, Green & Gold, Dragon and T-Juice.