What Is Vape Steeping? Does Steeping your E-Liquid Work?
If you’re a true vaping enthusiast, chances are that you’ve spent more than a little time reading about the little changes and tweaks that can make your vaping experience even better. One of those tweaks has to do with the e-liquid that you use, and it’s called vape steeping. You’ve probably seen posts discussing e-liquid steeping on forums and discussion boards. “I didn’t like this e-liquid very much at first, but it’s great after two weeks of steeping!”
As you’re about to learn, e-liquid steeping is absolutely a worthwhile tool to add to your vaping arsenal. Under certain conditions, steeping your vape juice can definitely improve the taste of an e-liquid that you don’t completely enjoy.
Reading this article, you’re going to become an expert on steeping. You’re going to learn how to steep your vape juice and find out why steeping can sometimes work to improve the flavour and vaping experience of an e-liquid that you don’t love. Let’s begin!
What Is Vape Steeping?
Vape steeping is the process of allowing a vape juice to age in a controlled environment for a period of time in order to bring about a desired change in the e-liquid’s flavour. It would be more accurate to use the term “vape aging” rather than steeping, but the vaping community picked that term, and it stuck. Some people find that giving an e-liquid a bit of time to age – especially if it was manufactured very recently – can make it taste significantly better.
During the steeping process, the bottle is repeatedly shaken to encourage the intermingling of its different flavour components. Apart from shaking the bottle, the e-liquid is also exposed to air periodically, which allows certain undesirable compounds to evaporate.
So, why might those processes improve the flavour of an e-liquid? That’s what you’re going to learn next.
Do I need to Steep my E-Liquid?
One of the things you need to know about e-liquid steeping is that, the way today’s vaping industry works, virtually every bottle of e-liquid that you buy has already had plenty of time to steep and won’t be improved by further aging. In the early years of vaping, though, that wasn’t always the case. Many small-scale e-liquid producers mixed bottles of e-liquid as they were ordered and shipped them to customers immediately, with little to no time to steep.
If you’ve ever had a bottle of e-liquid immediately after it was made, then you’ll have a very good idea of why steeping can sometimes improve vape juice. That was especially true in the early years, when most manufacturers didn’t have industrial mixing machines for steeping eliquids that could shake e-liquids until their ingredients reached a point of permanent suspension.
Why Can Steeping Sometimes Improve an E-Liquid’s Flavour?
If you vape an e-liquid immediately after it’s made, you may notice these traits.
- The e-liquid may have a slightly harsh edge caused by the presence of alcohol-based flavourings.
- Some flavour notes in the e-liquid may taste out of balance; they may cover the e-liquid’s other notes.
- The e-liquid may simply have an overall flavour profile that tastes incomplete or unfinished.
Steeping vape may work to improve an e-liquid’s flavour because it counteracts those issues.<
- Because steeping encourages alcohol-based flavours to evaporate, it can help to soften the edges of an e-liquid with harsh or “chemical” notes.
- Because steeping involves repeated shaking of the bottle, it encourages molecular bonding and interaction. It can help to give the e-liquid a flavour profile that tastes more coherent or complete.
One of the most important things to remember about e-liquid steeping is that most e-liquid sold at vape shops today was manufactured a couple of months before the time of purchase. E-liquids travel from manufacturers to distributors, and then they travel from distributors to vape shops before they finally reach your hands. That’s plenty of time for aging your vape. In addition, the vast majority of today’s e-liquids are produced using true laboratory-grade equipment that shakes the vape juice – much like a paint mixing machine – until it’s no longer possible for the individual flavour notes to separate out of the solution. It’s highly likely, in other words, that a bottle of e-liquid purchased from a vape shop already tastes as good as it will ever taste.
If you buy a bottle of e-liquid and notice any of the issues listed above, though – particularly if you can taste a strong alcohol, chemical tasting note in the e-liquid – allowing it to steep might improve its flavour.
Here’s how to do it.
How to Steep a Bottle of E-Liquid
If you have a bottle of e-liquid that you think might be improved by steeping, you’ll want to start by identifying a cool dark place such as a cabinet in which to store the bottle. Although you do want to expose your e-liquid to air occasionally while it steeps, you also want to keep it away from light. Light always causes the flavours and nicotine in e-liquid to degrade.
To begin the steeping process, open the bottle and expose it to air for a few minutes. Next, close the bottle and shake it vigorously for several seconds. That’s it! Place the bottle in a cabinet. Repeat the process of opening, closing and shaking the bottle each day for about a week.
After steeping the e-liquid for a week, test it and see what you think of the flavour. Do the e-liquid’s flavour notes seem more cohesive and balanced? Does it seem as though the harsh alcohol notes have dissipated somewhat? If you agree with either of those statements, then the steeping process is having a positive effect.
Once you’ve determined that the steeping process is improving your bottle of e-liquid, the next step of the steep method is to determine when to stop the process and begin using your vape juice. The most important thing to remember here is that once the steeping process has brought a bottle of e-liquid to its peak, it won’t improve further from there. Steeping eliquids can, in fact, cause an e-liquid’s flavour to degrade fairly quickly once it’s reached its peak; flavour notes can go from perfectly balanced to flat and lifeless with continued aging. Once you’re happy with the e-liquid’s flavour, it’s time to use it.