Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a chili guy. I love me some chili whether it be from Wendy’s homemade. I also love to cook my own. All of my friends and family know about my famous recipe. The last time I made a batch, it was gone almost instantly. We all know that the longer you cook and stir the chili, the better it is going to taste. Such is the concept of steeping. After all, e-liquid can be considered a food product since it uses food-grade flavoring. Think of a fine wine or bourbon that has been aged; that is why we steep. This is going to be a short guide as to how to steep your vape juice.
“Do you like it fast? Or do you like it good? I’m talking about e-juice, silly!” – RIP Trippers (YouTuber)
As far as I’m concerned, the steeping process begins as soon as the batch is mixed. The time that the juice travels to the store and sits on the shelf is when the steeping begins. However, the flavor will greatly benefit from additional steeping time. Many of you are probably thinking, “Why do I have to do this myself!? Why can’t they just sell the juice when its ready!?” The reality is that it takes some time for PG and especially VG to properly soak up all of the flavor molecules. Plus, that extra time will greatly enhance the flavor of your e-liquid. If you have ever made soup or chili then you know exactly what I mean.
My brother was super hungry one day after work and I was just finishing up a batch of chili but I like to let it sit for at least a half hour after it is done to cool down. Although he was starving, I strongly advised him to wait another few minutes, but he didn’t. The truth is he enjoyed the crap out of that chili. It probably tasted okay since it was already simmering on low for a good hour, but the point I am trying to make is that it could have been even better! It becomes slightly darker, thicker and richer in flavor after it sits for that half hour, much like steeping e-liquid.
If you do not have any patience whatsoever, just leave now. Steeping e-juice is for distinguished gentlemen (and women) that are trying to squeeze every last drop of flavor out of life. The word “steeping” has been used for years in reference to soup and especially tea. It takes patience, self control and a vision for a better tomorrow. Tea is not something you can throw together quickly and guzzle down. We are talking about a much more sophisticated way of life, so put that soda down.
What is Steeping E-Juice?
One of the first videos that I found when researching steeping was straight from Rip Trippers himself. I consider him to be an expert on the subject, especially because he puts out a few juice lines of his own. Mr. Trippers breaks down the subject further into three terms. Steeping, breathing and “streathing”, which is essentially a combination of the first two processes.
This is when you place your closed e-juice bottles in a cool, dark place, such as a tall cigar box, for a week or two. It is also recommended that you shake your bottles as often as possible to help expedite the process. Another way to speed up the steeping is to run the bottles under warm tap water. The heat from the water will get the molecules moving around faster.
This is when you take the cap off and let your e-juice bottle sit for a few hours. Rip recommends no more than 12 hours of breathing e-juice. Eventually the flavor and nicotine content begins to diminish during this process so don’t forget about it! (Many people overgeneralize the term steeping to include this process but the truth is that “breathing” is not the same thing.)
This is a more advanced process that Rip implements to find out when his flavors hit a peak. Start by shaking your bottles and 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. Then 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 as opposed to those that come with a dropper. Rip Trippers usually repeats this process a few times as it takes a lot more time, effort and precision than steeping or breathing e-juice.
How Long Does Steeping E-Juice take?
This actually depends on the flavor. Fruity flavors tend to require the least amount of steeping time. Tobacco flavors need a little bit more time to steep and the more creamier, dessert flavors tend to take the longest time to reach their flavor peak. It is recommended that you steep for at least two weeks, but some flavors may take longer and some may be good right out of the bottle. Using warm water or some kind of heat source such as a slow cooker, some even use their computer’s fan vent will help to speed up the process. The whole point of steeping e-liquid is to get maximum flavor out of the juice, so if it tastes good to you, then you are done. Some people like to steep their juice for 2-3 weeks, while others might even go for months. It is all subjective, so you can steep for as long as you want, but just make sure you are not going past the expiration date on the bottle!
Steeping is not for everyone but it is highly recommended to achieve the best flavor from your e-liquids. Vaping is becoming a big industry and many juice manufacturers can barely keep up with their rapidly expanding market. Likewise, they probably try to get their products out there to meet the demand, which means sometimes you might be getting a freshly mixed batch of e-liquid. Of course you can order from companies that sell liquid that is pre-steeped, or you can just get lucky and get a batch that has already been sitting for a sufficient amount of time. Some flavors may not even need to be steeped. On the other hand, if you have been steeping a bottle for months and it still doesn’t taste right, chances are your juice just sucks.