You may have heard the terms “e-liquid”, “e-juice” or “vape juice” before. These all refer to the same thing and if you are wondering what this is, it is simply a liquid used in vape pens. The three terms can be used interchangeably to describe this.
In place of traditional lighted tobacco cigarettes, vapes have become increasingly popular. Vapes are electronic cigarettes or devices that are used to simulate smoking tobacco. It is made to have a battery, a cartridge or tank that will contain the juice and an atomizer.
When using a vape, the user inhales the vapor instead of smoke as in a tobacco cigarette. The act of inhaling as well as exhaling of vapor through the use of this electronic device is called vaping.
The vapor from a vape is called an aerosol because of the liquid or juice present in the cartridge. Different kinds of juice can be in a vape pen and they usually contain glycerin, propylene glycol, flavors, nicotine, carcinogens, etc. some do not contain all of these but will typically contain a form of flavor which may be natural, organic, or artificial. Flavors help you to enjoy the vaping experience and there are reported to be over 15,000 flavors available for use in a vape.
Steeping is a common practice amongst people who vape; it also improves the taste and enables the user to enjoy the experience. You can learn more about vaping in this article.
What is Steeping?
Steeping essentially refers to a method that is used to improve the flavor of an e-liquid. It involves letting the e-liquid sit and age for a period. Usually in steeping, a solid ingredient is soaked in the liquid and this infuses its flavor into it the liquid but for e-juice, no solid ingredients are needed.
Steeping is a method and tradition that has long been used with beer, tea, drinks and even food products. A prominent example is inserting a teabag in hot water. The flavor from the teabag diffuses into the water and turns the water to tea.
Steeping also helps to remove any harsh taste as well as alcohol by mixing the VG/PG base, nicotine and flavoring and it oxidizes the juice so that alcohol is removed.
There are several techniques and methods to do this as would be seen shortly but first, why do you need to steep your vape juice?
Reasons for Steeping
As mentioned earlier, the primary reason for steeping is for improving the flavor of the e-liquid and to better enjoy the experience. It is not a compulsory thing to do but there is a marked difference between an e-juice that has not undergone the process and one that has. Steeping better combines the ingredients used in an e-liquid
It is all about the aging and improving of the quality of taste of the juice. The process is mostly relevant to DIY enthusiasts and to people who produce homemade vape juices as this helps to remove any harsh taste of chemicals or alcohol that it could have.
Usually a commercial product or already prepared e-liquid will begin steeping from the moment it was produced till the moment that you bought it off the shelf and use it.
The sitting simply allows the ingredients to blend and combine well into a silky and smooth taste. Steeping may also be looked on as an art much like cooking. You should not leave your e-liquid to steep for long or else it can become worse and ruin the taste. You need to practice and experiment with your mixtures to get it right.
Steeping may not be necessary especially when you buy a commercially available product and you enjoy the flavor and taste as it is. If you feel though that the taste is too harsh or something is lacking, you may need to do so. Most times, the taste of a freshly opened e-juice bottle can include alcohol or fragrance and steeping helps to get rid of this. However, if you prefer it as is, then you do not need to steep it.
Remember, steeping helps you find the right balance between the flavor as well as smoothness of your e-liquid. Therefore, since all e-liquids are not the same, you will need to carry out your tests and experiments to determine the best flavor for you.
How to Steep Your E-juice
There are different ways of steeping an e-juice. You can either heat it or shake it to mix well and also expose it to air so that it can undergo oxidation. One of the simplest methods is to store it in a dark and cool place.
Similarly, you can place it in a case such as a cigar box, a cupboard, or a drawer for an extended period of time and occasionally shake it and expose it to air to help expedite the process. You should ensure that it is not exposed to any form of direct light while doing so and also do not leave it exposed for too long as it can evaporate.
Oxidation by exposing it to air is a good thing as it helps the flavor become concentrated and this can turn a dull or sour-tasting e-liquid to a smooth one if done correctly.
Also, different flavors require different steeping times so this means that there is no set time for steeping your e-juice. It is solely dependent on the preference of the user. A tobacco flavor typically requires more time to steep than fruity flavors.
Steeping takes time in reality but some techniques can be used to speed up the whole process. You will find below some of the popular methods to use. No matter the technique you decide to choose, you should always use glass bottles. You can read further on this here https://vapingdaily.com/what-is-vaping/how-to-steep-ejuice/.
Techniques for Fast Steeping
These are techniques to use when you do not have time to go through the slow process of steeping. These methods are not necessarily the best way to steep your juice as they involve heat and can decrease the liquid’s shelf life.
When using heat, do not heat to a point where it will boil and do not forget to shake the juice regularly. You should also as much as possible use indirect heating such as hair dryers, water baths, etc. as opposed to direct ones like stove or microwave.
Here are a few of the methods.
This is one of the commonest and easiest ways to steep an e-liquid. Hot bathing blends the contents as well as activates the molecules in readiness for oxidation. To do this, fill a bowl with warm water. Ensure that it is not hot in an unpleasant way. Next is to seal up the bottle in a zip-lock plastic bag and place it in the bowl. Remove the bottle when the water cools and remove the cap to dispel the gases contained in the bottle. Place the cap back on the bottle and shake well.
Using a Slow Cooker
Get a crockpot and fill with water. Then place the bottle inside a zip-lock plastic bag and put it in the crockpot. Ensure by the way that as much air is removed from the zip-lock. Put the cooker on low heat and leave for between 30 minutes to 4 hours. Uncap the bottle afterward and recap before shaking it.
To do this, you should fill a bowl with some warm water. Take off bottle caps and place the bottle halfway into the water. Leave till the water cools. Now, replace the cap and shake.
Other methods you can use include:
- Hair dryer
- Using your car glove box
- Using hot rice
- Using an electric dryer and so on
You will find more information on websites like Cloudride if want to learn more about vaping, e-liquids and flavors.
The whole essence of vaping is to enjoy and experience the flavors, and steeping vape juice adds to that experience. As you can see, not every e-liquid requires steeping, and not all vapers steep their e-liquds, but if you desire to enjoy the experience more through a better and smoother tasting juice, then you can use one of the above methods to achieve that.