Steeping is the way people increase or alter the taste of their e-juice. Tastes differ from person to person, so steeping e-juice for a desired amount of time is like aging wine. Not everyone has to steep, but those who love their own unique flavor will refine their steeping technique to get just right every time. There are multiple ways of steeping, which we discuss here.
Why Steep Your Liquid?
Some people love the taste of the e-liquid right out off the shelf or right out of the shipment box. For these people, steeping is unnecessary. But for those who find their e-juice less than satisfying or that it leaves a chemical aftertaste, then steeping is the solution. In a nutshell, steeping is done to either improve the taste of a liquid, or to get rid of a bad taste. A change in the color of the liquid to a shade of reddish brown is clear indication that steeping has occurred.
A “Steep-by-Steep” Method of Steeping Liquids
There are numerous steeping guidelines out there, so each vaper must find the technique that creates the desired flavor. Keeping track of the details of how you steep will help you refine your technique to improve the taste, and to repeat the process to get the same taste with every new bottle.
There are three main aspects of steeping: shaking the liquid, letting it sit, and warming the liquid. Using these three activities in various combinations will produce different shades of flavor.
Shaking the Bottle
Some steepers advocate a light mixing to avoid creating bubbles, while others suggest vigorous shaking to truly mix the thick and thin parts of the liquid, which can separate when left untouched for a long time. Some people like to mix only once in the steeping process, while others recommend shaking the bottle once per week during the steeping process.
Letting the Liquid Sit
This is otherwise known as incubating the liquid. Letting the liquid sit after a mixing will allow the chemicals inside to react. This sitting process can be made to last for one day or one week. Some say that once the liquid is produced and bottled, the steeping process has begun even before the bottles have been shipped.
Another variation on the incubation is the steep the bottle with the cap off, so that the liquid is exposed to air. This allows the alcohols in the liquid to evaporate, which changes the taste of the liquid. Some people do a combination of capped and uncapped incubations, while others just keep the cap on. Darkness and light is another factor in the incubation process. Light can alter the flavor chemicals in the liquid, so some people prefer to incubate in the dark.
The e-juice can be viscous, or thick, so this slows the mixing of the molecules during the steeping process. To speed up the process, some people incubate their bottles in warm water or next to a source of heat. The increased temperature causes the molecules in the liquid to move faster, which makes the chemical reactions happen more often. Use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature of the water bath, or a ruler to remember the distance from a heat source, so that you can repeat the process the same way next time.