You wouldn’t think of drinking a truly fine wine or a bourbon you know needs to be aged straightaway, would you? You’d allow both to sit and mature so they reach their optimum taste before you indulge in them. In that case, why would you vape high-quality e juice UK immediately? Why wouldn’t you want to extract the most fantastic flavour possible from it by allowing to sit, mature and reach its perfect state? That’s what steeping is all about.
Patience is a virtue, as the saying goes, so here’s all you need to know about steeping to get the very best out of your e liquid UK…
So, what is steeping?
Essentially, steeping is the act of putting a solid in water to soften; or to extract flavour from it. (For example, if you’re making peppermint tea or marinating a tough piece of meat to tenderize it. When referring to steeping e-liquid, the word takes on a slightly different meaning. A more appropriate definition would be marinating or aging your e-juice.
Steeping e-juice involves letting it age in order to achieve better flavour. There are many ways to do this, which we will go into more depth later. Essentially, it means letting the e-juice sit. The most important factor in this equation is time. It allows the ingredients (PG/VG, flavourings and nicotine) to blend together. Additionally, some juice can contain trace amounts of alcohol, depending on the flavouring used, which will evaporate during the steeping process.
As far as I’m concerned, the steeping process starts as soon as the batch is mixed. The time that the juice travels to the store and sits on the shelf is technically when the steeping process begins. However, the flavour will greatly benefit from additional steeping time.
You might be thinking why vape liquid UK manufacturers can’t just sell the juice when its ready, but the reality is that it takes some time for PG, and especially VG, to properly soak up all the flavour molecules. Plus, that extra time will greatly enhance the taste of your e-liquid. If you have ever made sauce, soup or chili, then you know exactly what I mean.
Steeping simply allows the ingredients to congeal. Some flavourings contain alcohols which can taste harsh when they are first mixed. Steeping oxidizes the juice, which allows that alcohol to evaporate. As a result, the juice’s flavour and aroma become smoother and more pronounced.
How to steep
You should place your closed e-liquid bottles in a cool, dark place, such as a tall cigar box, for an extended period. It’s also recommended that you shake your bottles as often as possible to help expedite the process. However, the reality is that real steeping takes time. Another way to speed up the process is to run the bottles under warm tap water. The heat from the water will get the molecules moving around faster. You could use your sink, or a bathtub if you have a lot of juice.
- Breathing e-juice – This is when you take the cap off and let your e-juice bottle sit for a few hours. We recommend no more than 12 hours of breathing e-juice. Eventually the flavour and nicotine content begin to diminish during this process, so don’t forget about it! (Many people use the term steeping to describe this process, but the truth is that “breathing” is not the same thing.)
- Streathing e-juice – Streathing is essentially a combination of steeping and breathing, hence the name. To streath your juice, start by shaking your bottles, then run them under warm tap water. Take the cap off and place them in a cool, dark place for two hours. Put the cap back on and shake well.
Now squeeze the excess air out of the bottle which recycles the oxygen throughout the juice. This can only be done with a bottle that has a nipple, such as a unicorn or chubby gorilla bottle, as opposed to those that come with a dropper. Repeat this process a few times as it takes a lot more patience, effort and precision than simply steeping or breathing alone.
How long should steeping take?
This is highly dependent on the juice. Fruity flavours tend to require the least amount of steeping time. Tobacco flavours need a bit more time to steep and creamy dessert e-liquids take the longest time to reach their flavour peak. It’s recommended that you steep for at least two weeks, but some flavours may take longer, while others may be good right out the bottle.
Some people like to steep their juice for 2-3 weeks, while others might even let it go for months. It’s highly subjective, so you can steep for as long as you want, but just make sure you are not going past that expiration date! The average shelf-life of e-juice is usually no more than two years.