E-Liquid Steeping: Different Ways to Steep Your Juice
If you are a vaping rookie, sometimes it can feel like you’ve been living under a rock at the bottom of a well in a galaxy far, far away from the rest of humanity.
This is because you encounter this sub-culture with its own set of terminology that may take you a while to acquaint yourself with.
One of these terms is steeping.
Okay, you may have already come across the word before, but steeping in vaping lingo takes a different connotation from its actual meaning as defined in the English dictionary – immersing a solid in water to soften it or extract flavour and nutrients.
For example, marinating meat or what you do with tea bags.
What is Vape Steeping?
In vaping, steeping e-liquid refers to the process of aging your juice with the intention of enhancing its flavour.
It doesn’t require much technical chops on your part since it involves letting the e-juice sit, with time being the notable difference.
Before we get to these variants, perhaps it is good to draw a line between steeping and two other oft confused concepts.
Breathing E-Juice – Breathing e-juice involves removing the cap from the e-liquid bottle and letting it sit open for a few hours. This is especially useful in the case of juices that contain alcohol as it gives the e-liquid time to breathe as the alcohol evaporates. 12 hours should be a sufficient timeframe to breathe e-liquid.
Streathing E-Juice – As the name suggests, streathing is a process that combines steeping and breathing. It starts by shaking your juice, before running the bottles under warm water. Then remove the cap and place the bottles in a cool, dark place for 2 hours. Replace the cap and shake well again.
The warm water thins out the VG in the juice so it mixes well with the flavours in the e-liquid, but the vape juice should return to its normal viscosity when you get it back to room temperature.
How to Steep E-Juice
As we noted earlier, the fundamental difference between e-juice steeping methods generally has to do with time. Well, and technique.
Normal steeping involves simply placing your sealed e-liquid bottles in a cool and dark place and letting it sit for an extended period of time, shaking it periodically.
The ideal time will vary between different vapers, but 2-3 weeks should suffice. Some vapers prefer to steep their juice just a few days, while others play the long game by storing the juice for months.
You will know the juice has been steeping if you notice a change in its colour – it becomes slightly darker.
Vapers have found hacks to speed up the process of steeping, meaning you don’t have to wait days (or months) for the e-liquid to age. Some of these methods remain a bone of contention, but if you feel a little adventurous, here are some speed steeping tricks you can try:
- Ultrasonic Cleaner Method
An ultrasonic cleaner is used to clean equipment such as electronics, medical devices, jewellery and vaping devices.
However, it can also be used to steep e-liquid. All you need to do is fill the tank with water, place your e-liquid bottles inside and let the ultrasonic waves do their magic.
This method lets the molecules mix together much faster.
- Bath Method
Fill the container in which you intend to steep your vape juice in with warm water that is neither hot nor at room temperature – it needs to be just right. A bit like a baby’s bath water.
Put your e-liquid bottles in a plastic bag, immerse them in the container and let nature run its course.
- Slow Cooker Method
Slow cookers are a popular piece of kitchen kit, and they serve the purpose of keeping food at a consistent low temperature for extended periods.
You probably already guessed what you are required to do here. Fill your cooker with water and set it to the lowest heat setting. Put the e-liquid bottles you want to steep in a plastic bag and place the bag inside, periodically giving it a shake from time to time.
- Seed Steeping Method
Seed steeping involves mixing fresh un-steeped juice with already steeped juice.
The rationale behind this is that the steeped juice will “plant the seed” in the fresh e-liquid, therefore accelerating the process.
- Magnetic Stirrer Method
Take your e-liquid and put it into a large container (preferably glass), then place it on top of the magnetic stirrer.
This mixes air with the e-liquid at speed, and can be especially handy when you are creating your own DIY vape juice.
- The Hot Car Method
This is one of the easiest ways of steeping e-liquid.
Put your juice inside the glove compartment of a hot car, then remove and enjoy after leaving it for a few hours.
Steeping e-juice is not a must to enjoy your vape juice. In fact, some vapers prefer it fresh off the bottle.
But it does improve e-liquid flavour as it’s a process that happens on a molecular level, helping the flavours blossom.
If we were to choose, we would opt for normal steeping where everything happens without human interference. But this requires patience, and more suited for those who purchase their e-liquid in bulk.