If you want to steep your e juice, you will probably not go back to using non-steeped liquids after you experience the difference. The most important thing to have for steeping is high-quality glass bottles. Although you can use plastic bottles, glass yields an overall better result. Be sure that the glass bottles have tight-fitting caps. You can find these bottles online, and you can easily clean and reuse them without worrying about residual smells.
Why Steep e Juice?
Although you do not have to steep e juice, it helps provide you with a better overall experience. These are the main benefits of steeping your vape juice:
- Steeping produces a better flavor.
- Steeping makes a mellower liquid and can reduce the feeling of burning in the lungs or throat.
- Steeping provides more versatility in experimentation.
If you have ever bought a bottle of e liquid and thought that it was terrible, it may have only needed steeping. With some liquids, the flavor seems off, is too strong, tastes like perfume or has some other unpleasant effect. Steeping can help neutralize those negative effects. Additionally, since it makes the liquid mellower, you may notice that you do not cough as much or feel other negative strength-related effects. Some people like to mix flavors before they steep, and the results are often surprisingly delicious. For example, if you mix chocolate and mint flavors before you steep them, the combination may be far from what you expected. If you let them steep together, you are more likely to be satisfied with the result.
When to Steep e Juice
If you make your own liquid, plan to steep it as soon as it is finished. Many people also steep e liquid after they purchase it from a manufacturer or from a smoke shop. There is no wrong time to steep it. However, for better quality, it is ideal to start the steeping process as soon as you can. Steeping is especially important for cheap vaping liquids, which are commonly known to produce unpleasant effects if they are not steeped.
How to Steep e Juice
Keep in mind that specific steeping processes are subjective. Each person has a different taste preference in terms of strength, and each person has a different tolerance level for throat hit. One person may prefer to steep quickly, and you may prefer a slow method for a longer period. Since liquids vary based on ingredient and flavor composition, this adds complexity. The key is to follow the basic time suggestions and steps in this guide, and check your liquid frequently to find what suits your tastes. Vape juices contain propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Liquids with higher PG content, such as 80/20 mixtures, tend to require less steeping time. More on e-juice ingredients and nicotine levels.
For steeping, there are heat-based accelerated methods and a slow method. Do not try to speed up the processes by using high heat or too much air exposure. This is especially important if the liquid contains nicotine. Although research on nicotine degrading during heat-based processes is inconclusive, some mixologists have found that heat methods slightly reduced nicotine content. If you use nicotine juices, you may want to stick with slow steeping for better results.
This is a simple method to follow, and many users say that the wait is worth it. You will need a cool and dark place to keep your vape liquids where they will remain undisturbed by others. Exposure to sunlight or heat can ruin the process. Although some mixologists periodically remove and replace the cap, others say that the result is the same with the cap left on the entire time. Removing the cap, also called breathing, allows the air to help speed up oxidation. Although some guides recommend letting mixtures breathe for days at a time, this can make a liquid lose its flavor. It can also leave your liquid vulnerable to contamination.
Shake the bottles once or twice each day, and check them after a week. Fruit flavors and menthol mixtures do not usually need additional time, and you may find that some fruit flavors are ready after only a week. Some may react poorly to breathing and can lose flavor, which is why you must always replace the cap quickly if you let them breathe before shaking. Tobacco and dessert flavors may benefit from steeping for about four weeks. With some custards, creams and complex dessert flavors, many users say that the quality improves after two to three months of steeping.
Accelerated methods use a heat source to help speed up the steeping process. Depending on your budget or what you have at home, there are several ways you can do this. For example, if you want to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner, some mixing enthusiasts swear by using mixed warm and cold cycles. However, others do not recommend them. These are some of the more common methods of using heat to create steeped e liquid:
- Warm bath method
- Slow cooker method
- Rice method
To use the warm bath method, put some warm water and the bottles in a pan. Do not boil it or heat it on the stove. If you must heat it on the stove to make it warmer than tap water, let it cool until a food thermometer shows that it is between 130 degrees and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have an immersion circulator, you will need to keep a lid on the pan, dump out a little water and add a little hot water every hour or so. You can also shake the bottles once or twice if you want. Let the liquid steep for about five hours, and check it after that. You may need to let it steep longer. Another option is to set a small space heater in front of the pan to keep it warm.
If you have a slow cooker, one of the easiest ways to accelerate steeping is to fill it with warm water, turn it on low and immerse the bottles. Be sure that the bottle lids are on tight. With a rubber glove, you can take them out once during the process and shake them. For fruit flavors, you may only want to let them steep for about 30 minutes before you check them. Menthol can steep for about an hour, and some other flavors may need to steep for up to four hours. The time can vary depending on the complexity of ingredients. Just be sure to check the liquid's color and consistency at least every hour.
You can use the rice method in several ways. The core idea is to heat some rice and surround the e liquid bottles with it. You can microwave the rice in a mug. However, you may need to reheat it if the liquid needs to steep for several hours. If you want to keep the rice warm the entire time, you can put a microwave-safe mug or bowl full of rice on a candle warmer or a coffee mug warmer. Since the rice will not be as hot as it would get in a microwave, let the liquids steep for about eight hours. Be sure the bottles are fully surrounded with the rice.
After any heat method, you can uncap the bottles, recap them and shake them. While some mixing enthusiasts recommend this, some say it is unnecessary.
Can You Over-Steep e Liquid?
You can steep a liquid too long. As noted before, heat steeping for too long may degrade the nicotine. Also, if you let some fruit flavors and nicotine mixtures steep too long and breathe too long, they can lose their quality and flavor. The key to not over-steeping your vape juice is checking it and observing changes. Steeped e liquid will be slightly darker than it used to be. When it darkens, test it to see if it fits your preferences.
Do Nic Salts Need to Steep?
You will certainly be happier with a nic salt liquid if you steep it. You can use the methods in this guide for nic salts or any other e juice liquids. When you steep nic salts, you will notice a cleaner, richer and smoother flavor. Although you can use accelerated methods, many people recommend using the slow steeping method for optimal results.
Do You Need to Steep e Liquid Without Nicotine?
Overall, any liquid with or without nicotine can benefit from steeping. As long as you follow the recommendations in this guide, you can experiment to find the right steeping times and methods to fit your taste preferences and time-related abilities. It is not nicotine that benefits from steeping. The steeping process helps bond the flavor molecules of the PG/VG mixture to produce a smoother experience and better taste.
At first, learning how to steep e juice may seem a little intimidating if you are new to vaping. As you get used to it, you will find what works for you and develop your own routine. In the end, your work will pay off and provide you with smooth and delicious e juices.