It’s like aging a good wine.
Updated: 20th March 2020
Steeping can also improve the throat hit and many say it is a must for tobacco flavours.
Yet you may be wondering – surely the flavour remains the same, and if it did change, wouldn’t it depend on how many drops of flavouring you added to your mix and the method of storage?
Storage is important, sure; to keep your e-liquid, (whether pre-mixed or home mixed) in the best condition it is advised to keep it at average room temp and out of direct sunlight. Some connoisseurs on the forum suggest cooler temperatures, having discovered that tobacco flavours become darker, richer and more intense over time when stored underground.
Storing e-liquid in slightly cooler temperatures then it seems is better according to some.
Well, sometimes if you don’t like a flavour straight away, allowing it to steep for a while may improve it, and you may end up liking it and not having to swap it or throw it away.
But first, how do you steep (get the best flavour from) e liquid?
You will not be surprised to learn that there are a multiple methods that are championed by vaping officiandoes.
A simple method of steeping, (extracting more flavour) that many of you probably do without even thinking about it is giving the bottle a good shake before you use it. By doing this you are in effect making sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed in the e-liquid, so automatically ‘steeping’ it.
Another method is to leave it in a cool dark place for several weeks.
Some recommend shaking the e-liquid daily while it is in its cool dark place, because the heavier particles fall to the bottom of the bottle when it is not in use. Swirling and shaking loosens up the ‘steeped’ particles, and creates a more even and stronger flavour.
But then we have another method – that of leaving the lid off.
One of our e-liquid aficionados said:
“Steeping is nothing more than allowing sufficient time for the flavourings and other ingredients to fully absorb into the carrier (VG or PG or both). The lid off method seems the most popular as the oxidisation seems to speed up this process. Having experiments with a few methods, the lid off (just the childproof cap) for a couple of weeks at room temperature seems to get the best result. Some flavours become unbelievably different when steeped. Oddly enough some also change colour after steeping.”
Another steeping method that is championed as being best for heavy VG e liquids (and it speeds up the whole process, so no more waiting for two weeks, instead you only need to wait for a few days,) is for those of you that mix your own e-juice.
- Boil some water and place it in a bowl, allow the water to cool for a few minutes. Place you bottle of freshly mixed e-liquid in it, (not covered – you don’t want it to drown) and leave it there until the surrounding water is room temp. Place the bottle in the dark, somewhere cool, for 4-6 days, and you will find the flavour is generally deeper and more rounded than if merely mixed and immediately vaped.
Note: Some advise against this method, as the heat can degrade the nicotine, but maybe best to seek further advice on the forum if you decide you want to try this.
But having cruised the forums, there are many different ideas about steeping, how to do, for how long, and here are just a few of the many different suggestions people make…
- It is believed by many that VG does not absorb flavourings as easily as PG does, so e-liquids with more VG will benefit from longer steeping.
- Darker coloured and thicker juices require longer steep times, i.e. tobacco e-liquids, coffee e liquids etc.
- Some fruity e-liquid mixes can take a minimum of 2 weeks for the flavours to tie in with each other.
- Many of the reputable e-liquids from overseas have already had plenty of time to steep before you get them, (i.e. waiting around on the plane/ship and in customs before they get to your e-cig!)
- An amber colour appearing over time is the nicotine oxidizing from the air, the storage temperature and exposure to the light. This is normal.
- If there is an alcohol or chemical smell to the new juices (or if the vendor lists alcohol as a base), take the lid off for 1-2 days. A quick sniff will tell you if the alcohol has evaporated.
But ultimately, the decision to steep, (which is really a short way of allowing sufficient time for the flavourings and other ingredients to fully absorb into the carrier (VG or VG or both) will be up to you!
Or, you could just keep it simple and vape our awesome e-liquids straight away after a little shake instead.