So what is steeping and what does it have to do with my e-liquid?
Tea and teabags.
Those are probably the first two things you think of when you hear the word, “steeping.” That makes sense. It’s by far the most popular steeping vehicle.
But have you ever heard of “e-liquid steeping?”
Yep… it’s a real thing. And yep… it can catapult your vaping experience to brand new heights!
In this article, I’m going to explain what e-liquid steeping is, show you how it works, and then give you a few simple recipes for steeping your own e-juices.
Get ready to add a new depth of awesomeness to your vaping experience!
What Is E-Liquid Steeping?
Here’s what Dictionary.com has to say about steeping:
“to soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, clean, or extract some constituent” (emphasis mine)
Extract some constituent is “fancy speak” for intensifying flavour. And that’s really what steeping is all about…
Just as you can steep teabags to strengthen the flavour of tea, you can also steep e-liquid to strengthen its designated flavour, be it tobacco, menthol, citrus flavours, or off-the-wall flavours like Cosmic Fog’s Milk and Honey.
But there are a couple of minor differences in the process…
How Does E-Liquid Steeping Work?
When steeping tea, you soak the teabag in hot water for several minutes (or hours). The temperature of the water extracts the flavour from the tea leaves in the teabag(s) and transfers it into the water itself.
When steeping e-liquid, the actual liquid will never come into contact with water. Instead, it uses a different process… time.
In many ways, steeping e-juice is like aging wine. The longer you let it rest, the stronger and more intense the flavour will become.
E-liquids are created from a combination of five parts:
- Propylene glycol
- Vegetable glycerin
- Nicotine juice
- Alcohol-based flavouring
When the e-liquid is first created, these parts, while combined together in the bottle, are not properly bonded and oxidized.
But as time goes on, the separate components will start to combine and alter the chemical makeup of the e-liquid. As this happens, the e-liquid becomes “less volatile” and develops a deeper, fuller flavour profile.
When Should You Steep E-Liquid?
In order to answer that question, it’s important to remember that the sole purpose of steeping is to improve e-liquid flavour.
If you already love the flavour profile of your e-liquid, then there’s no reason why you should steep it. Keep using it like you always have and enjoy!
But if you fall in the camps of those who aren’t thrilled with their current e-juice flavour or are curious to experience the taste of a steeped e-liquid, then steeping will be a smart next step for you to take.
Below, I’ll show you two different ways (the slow way and fast way) you can steep your own bottles of e-juice. Both are fairly simple to execute.
How to Steep Your Own E-Liquid
The Slow Steep Method
The Slow Steep is the least involved and simplest way to steep your e-liquid. However, as the title suggests, it also takes the longest. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Shake the bottle of e-liquid vigorously. E-liquid is very thick. As such, it requires a lot of shaking and stirring for it to fully mix. I suggest shaking the bottle for a good 20-30 seconds.
Step 2: Store the e-liquid in a dark, cool place. Light and heat can degrade the e-liquid components, negatively effecting flavour. So don’t store it in your garage or by your stove. One of the best places will be your bedroom closet.
Step 3: Let the bottle sit for one week. As stated earlier, the liquid will oxidize and bond as it ages. The longer it sits, the fuller the flavour profile will be.
Step 4: Shake the bottle vigorously again. After one week, shake the bottle for 20-30 seconds. Then sample it. If you like the new flavour profile, great! If not, then store the e-liquid for another week and repeat the process as needed to reach your desired flavour profile.
The Fast Steep Method
The Fast Steep is for those vapers who don’t want to wait a week (or more) for an e-liquid to properly steep or can’t wait to try a new flavour. This method is much faster than the Slow Steep, but is also more involved.
Step 1: Fill a small pot with hot water. Use hot tap water from your sink.
Step 2: Shake your e-liquid bottle vigorously. Shake the bottle for 20-30 seconds.
Step 3: Place the e-liquid in a sandwich ziplock bag. A small sandwich-sized zip bag will work just fine. I suggest using the zip-seal kind for security reasons.
Step 4: Place that bag into another bag. Same size and same style. Make sure to get as much air out of both bags as possible.
Step 5: Carefully place the e-liquid into the hot water. Let it sit until the water cools (approximately 15-20 minutes). Then, empty the cool water and replace it with more hot water. Repeat this process for ten cycles.
Step 6: Remove the e-liquid and test. Take the e-liquid out of the bags, shake it for 20-30 seconds, then sample it with your e-cig. If you like the flavour profile, your job is done. If not, then continue heating it with hot water until satisfied.
Do you have any comments about your own steeping techniques? Comment below and let me know….