Guide to Steeping E-Liquid
For those who want broader and stronger flavours in your e-liquid, there's a method called 'steeping.' This process can increase the intensity and taste of your e-liquid. Taking a little extra time to let the e-juice breathe and steep allows the VG and PG ingredients to infuse with the flavouring, resulting in a deeper tasting e-liquid.
What is steeping?
Steeping is described as putting an object in solution to soften or extract flavouring. A suitable term would be maturing or mellowing your e-liquid. This involves letting it age to achieve a better flavour. There are many ways to do this. The most crucial factor in this equation is time. It allows the ingredients (PG and VG), nicotine and flavourings) to fuse together. Furthermore, some e-juice can contain trace amounts of alcohol, depending on the flavouring used, which can evaporate during the steeping process.
How does steeping e-liquid cause the changes in taste?
To better understand what e-liquid steeping is, you should know how commercial food flavourings work. These are the flavours that e-liquid makers use. Food flavourings are highly concentrated and require a common carrier, namely Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) both are perfect for e-liquids. The final carrier is alcohol, and this ingredient is the one we're concentrating on here. Some vapers are sensitive to the alcohol-based flavourings in e-liquid and translate them as chemical or perfume notes. A problem if you are sensitive to the taste of alcohol or a chemical smell. If this is the case, then you have discovered an e-liquid that's a perfect candidate for steeping. When you steep an e-liquid, a few things happen.
• The alcohol will evaporate from the vape juice and escape easily into the air.
• The constant shaking causes some ion exchange and bonding at the molecular level.
• The nicotine in the vape juice will oxidise and turn yellow. As the alcohol evaporates, the e-juice will begin to shake off those perfume and chemical notes. The molecular bonding will smooth out the overall flavour of your e-juice.
What is Streathing?
Streathing is a procedure that combines steeping and breathing techniques. It is a more 'hands-on' approach, but it does allow for enhanced flavours in your e-juice. Streathing can thin out the VG (Vegetable Glycerine) making it pliable, and it combines easier with PG (Propylene Glycol) Start by shaking the bottle and run them under warm tap water (not boiling water) for a minute or two. Remove the lids and place the bottles of e-juice in a dark, dry cupboard (or another suitable space) for eight to twelve hours. After this time has passed, put the lids back on the bottles and shake them well. The e-juice liquids will thin out when they're warm, this is normal. As the liquid reduces in temperature, it will go back to its original consistency, but with a more robust flavour.
How long should I steep my e-liquid?
The point of steeping e-juice is to optimise the flavour. If you're satisfied with your fave juice, then you do not need to steep. Some like to steep their e-juice for two to three weeks. Others have steeped their juice for months. It's all about goals and personal preference. Always observe the colour of your juice, as if it darkens, you know it has been steeping.
What Is Breathing An E-Juice?
This is allowing oxygen to come into contact with your juice for an extended period of time. Some recommend it as it can reduce the perfume-like smell and taste from your e-liquid. One drawback is that it reduces the potency of flavours and nicotine. If you want to breathe your juice, simply remove the lid from the bottle and let it stand for two to three hours.