What is steeping?
Steeping is any practice or process used to age or modify the flavor of e-liquid. Steeping is a common practice among vapers to improve the taste of e-juice, via aging, heating, shaking, and airing. More specifically, it is to induce chemical reactions in the mixture of the base ingredients in the liquid, like nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and sometimes alcohol and distilled water.
Steeping develops and intensifies the flavor of most e-liquids and improves the overall vaping experience. When the juice is vaped straight from the bottle, the liquid may or may not have mellowed out.
Oxidation removes alcohol which subsequently darkens the e- juice's color (this is known as the Maillard reaction—It reduces sugars and involves amino acids). The removal of volatile compounds like alcohol improves the smoothness of the juice.
Now, some important details you should know:
First would be container type. Is your bottle glass or plastic? Being aware of the health hazards of plastic and the type of glass you’re using is important to assess the optimum steeping method.
bottles are best for protecting health, as plastic is toxic (even if it’s BPA
free) and reactive to your juice. Plastic also easily leaches into any liquid
or food that it encounters, including substances like e-juice. Heat can easily
melt most plastics and can out-gas harmful compounds.
Additionally, any kind of physical stress like crushing or shocks from falls can cause phthalates to be released. These microscopic plastic flakes can enter your bloodstream via lungs and skin and into whatever is being stored in plastic.
Here are three distinct benefits of steeping your e-liquid:
Benefit #1. Allows for flavor fine tuning: Lose the bad stuff, get the good
Steeping will improve the mouth feel, taste, and throatiness of the juice. Homemade juice will almost always have unpleasant chemical tastes. Steeped liquids will feel smoother and taste better. If you want less burn, steeping would be a good idea. Make sure to be aware of the base you're using, as this contributes to throat feel.
Benefit #2: Wider palatability and versatility.
Some people may be turned off by the harshness of certain bases which are also amplified or nullified by flavorings and bottle material. If you can’t stand harshness and want a smoother and softer juice, you want to age it.
Steeping will allow for as many people as possible to enjoy different e-liquids, especially when you’re with friends and acquaintances. A beginner may be unwilling to vape due to the intense taste and the throat burn. Usefully, steeping can allow you to mitigate these properties.
will make a flavor less sweet and more mellow. Naturally lighter flavors will
be easily snuffed out—the less their taste will be all together. Examples would be sweeter flavors like
strawberry, kiwi or banana. If you steep these flavors too much you might end
up taking them out of their element totally. If
you’ve ever accidentally inhaled your favorite colognes and had your mood a bit
soured as a result, you’ve experienced something like non-steeped e-juice.
There are many approaches to steeping—another way is to literally age the liquid in a dark, cool location for weeks, occasionally shaking it for oxygenation; a bit like wines and other fermented drinks. You could also steep the liquid using more improvised methods, like leaving the juice in your vehicle during the summer, breathing it occasionally. This is convenient as it allows you to heat the liquid without energy cost or manual effort.
Benefit #3: It's just simply fun.
Having fun testing various combinations of flavors, juices, batches, steeping methods, and other specifics is part of the process. Often, the process itself is more enjoyable than the actual result.
There’s a secondary process known as streathing. This is testing the juice to determine what kind of steeping and time span produces the best juice. t’s good to keep notes on this, as it can become rather complex. And that’s a good thing as it allows for virtually infinite taste and creativity. Steeping certainly adds some amount of culture and nicety to an already interesting topic.
Always use glass bottles, as plastic bottles can be toxic and reactive to your juice. Plastic can melt and leach into the juice itself, so again, be very careful to use lime soda glass if possible (non-Pyrex). Borosilicate glass can work, but it can be hazardous to use in other situations.
One can say that the steeping process begins as soon as the batch is bottled. The moment it’s sitting on shelves is when the aging process begins. Steeping usually should be done manually, as it takes some extra time for PG and even longer for VG, the two most popular bases for e-liquid.
Steeping is an important aspect of vaping. It allows you to cultivate specific flavors and sensations while vaping, enhances the science of juice modification, and allows for increased flow of knowledge within the vape community.