Published on October 9th, 2019 | by Theo0
We review a lot of e-liquids on E-Cigarette Reviews. While e-liquids are (strictly speaking) made to be vaped right out of the bottle, sometimes steeping them can make the flavour even better.
You might not have heard of steeping e-liquids before, however you may have seen it happen without realising. If you’ve ever opened a bottle and vaped it very slowly (or forgotten about it) you might have noticed it’s changed colour or flavour from when you bought it. Sometimes, the flavour can be sweeter or more potent. That’s what happens when you steep an e-liquid.
What does steeping e-liquid do?
Steeping is the vaping equivalent of aging e-liquid in the same way cheese and wine are often left to sit and mature. You could also liken it to when you’ve been cooking and that casserole just somehow tastes a bit better after it’s been in the fridge for a couple of days. The reason is the flavours have had more time to settle.
It’s the same with e-liquids, particularly those more complex flavour profiles. If you want the notes of your guava, cream and pineapple vape juice to really jump out, you might want to try steeping it. Using a method for steeping is particularly useful for those of you who like to mix their own e-liquids too. While big manufacturers will have refined their blends a little already, if you’ve just blended something at home, a little time and effort can make them even better.
How does it work?
Essentially, steeping happens because your e-liquid has oxidised a bit. This is a process that happens when something is exposed to the air and oxygen interacts with it. You’ll notice it happening with food (like when fruit goes brown) as well as when metal goes rusty.
While neither of those sound appealing, the effect it has on your e-liquid is actually (often) a good thing. It’s especially beneficial for high VG liquids (80% VG or more) because they can naturally be a bit more neutral in flavour due to having so little flavour-carrying PG.
Once you open your bottle of vape juice, air gets in. That’s why over time (as the oxygen interacts with your liquid) the flavour can change. Without any intervention, this is a bit of a slow process. However, there are a few ways you can make it happen a little faster.
How do I steep e-liquids?
The first thing is to check whether you even need to steep them in the first place. Like we mentioned, generally speaking the higher VG blends are more likely going to benefit from steeping. Before you start the process, vape it first. If you’ve tried it and feel the flavour could be better (or isn’t as good as you remember it being) carry on.
Before you get started: no matter which method you go for, if you usually add a nic shot to your shortfills, do that first. The nicotine will help the flavours change more quickly because it speeds up the oxidation process.
If you don’t mind waiting a few weeks:
When you’ve already got a bottle on the go and don’t need to use your new shortfills right now the slow method might be fine for you. Generally speaking, we think this is the most simple method and will give the best results. It’s very simple, just store your bottles on a shelf in your room. In the same way people have wine cellars – you can have a vape liquid shelf.
If there’s a room that gets warm (but not hot) storing them there is perfect. The heat will help flavours evolve with very little interference needed from you. Check on them now and again to give them a little shake and see if the colour has changed. If you notice they’re changing from clear to a more golden colour you can remove them from your shelf and put them somewhere cool and dark until you want to use them.
For a steeping process that takes a few days:
To speed things up a little, again, it’s a pretty easy process. Start by adding your nic shot (if you use one) and mix it up. Then, open the bottle again and take the pipette out.
You’ll want to make sure you can leave them somewhere safe so you don’t risk knocking them over. Leave them on a shelf for a while so the air can permeate around the e-liquid. Close the bottle up again each evening and give them another shake. After a few days you should start to notice the colour changing a bit and within a week you should be able to vape them.
For the fastest steeping turnaround:
If you want to get your e-liquids to change as quickly as possible, a combination of a few things will work best. Like with leaving your e-liquids on the shelf in slow method, you’ll want to add heat. The primary reason is, this thins the liquid (particularly if it’s a thicker, high VG liquid) which means it can develop more quickly.
To do this, you’ll want to fill a bowl with hot water that’s still cool enough to put your hands in. If it’s too warm you run the risk of warping the bottles (if they’re plastic gorilla bottles especially). Leave them in the water for a while until it starts to cool, give them a shake then put fresh hot water in the bowl again.
If you do that in the evening then put the bottles somewhere sunny for the morning (or even if your car if it gets warm enough) the flavour should develop within a day or two.
Which flavours does this work best with?
Generally speaking, fruit flavours usually need less steeping than any other flavour profile. If you leave them too long sometimes they just end up tasting “sweet” but less distinctive. Desserts and tobacco flavours however can really improve with a few days of gentle heat. As long as you’re using your vape juice within a year of opening it, you can realistically leave them for as long as you want until the taste reaches that “just right” point.