‘How to steep e-juice?’ is one of the most common questions that we get. Steeping is an essential piece of the puzzle, but it is often misunderstood. The definition of the word relates to soaking solids in liquids. In the world of vaping, steeping is an internal chemical process that allows the flavorings, nicotine, and PG/VG inside e-liquid to blend.
The word steeping can be switched out for ‘aging’. There are a few different ways that you can steep your e-liquid, but they all involve time. Time is the main component of this process; it allows the ingredients to work together and create immense flavor profiles.
There are three types of steeping that you need to learn about. Steeping, breathing, and “streathing” are all grouped under the steeping umbrella.
Why Should I Steep E-Liquid?
Most manufacturers steep vape juice as standard, so steeping is only something that DIY vapers have to think about. Online DIY gurus might claim that they have found the answer to the steeping dilemma, but the truth is that most e-liquids require some steeping time.
All vape juices contain a base of VG (vegetable glycerin) and PG (propylene glycol). VG is a thick, viscous substance that promises big plumes of vapor, whereas PG is a thinner ingredient that emphasizes flavor profiles. Typical e-liquids also contain nicotine and flavorings.
It takes time for all the essential ingredients to bind properly. The compounds need time to form new bonds. Factors like heat, light, and oxygen can also cause chemical changes that result in unpleasant vape hits. To create the best DIY vape juice possible, you need to steep your mixture.
Does Steeping Vape Juice Work
So, does steeping vape juice work?
Yes it works, and people all over the USA do it! Keen vapers have been steeping e-liquid for years, and the process is surprisingly simple.
How to Steep Vape Juice
If you buy made to order e-liquid or make your own e-liquid, you need to factor in time for steeping. The question of how to steep vape juice needs a thorough, detailed answer.
For a basic steep, place your vape juice bottles somewhere that has a consistent temperature. It is important that your bottles are away from natural sunlight. We recommend removing and agitating the containers every now and then to speed the process along.
Here are a few tips and tricks that speed up the process.
Breathing Vape Liquid
Breathing, as the name suggests, involves exposing your e-liquid to oxygen in the air. It can be as simple as leaving the lid off your bottle of juice for a few hours. Many liquids contain some amount of ethanol (alcohol) which evaporates during the breathing process. The overall result is a smoother vape with more mellow and distinct flavors. Most DIY vapers breathe their liquid for two or more hours. The benefits diminish beyond twelve hours, so it is a good maximum to keep in mind.
‘Streathing’ Vape Liquid
If you are wondering how to steep e-juice, you need to learn about streathing. It is a combination of steeping and breathing, and involves using some elements from both processes.
- Shake your bottle of e-liquid
- Run the hot tap and heat the bottle under the stream
- Remove the cap
- Place your bottle in a cool, dark place
- Wait two hours
- Replace the cap and shake the bottle
The heat thins out the viscous VG, meaning it can mix with PG and the other ingredients in the bottle. In this thinner fluid, the flavor particles interact and integrate more easily, and the characteristics become more pronounced.
How Long Does It Take to Steep Vape Juice?
Once you have figured out how to steep vape juice, you need to work out how long it takes to create your preferred flavor sensation. Your tastebuds are just one of the factors at play. The VG/PG ratio, the flavorings, and the age of the ingredients all have an impact on the time it takes to steep your e-liquid.
Generally speaking, fruitier flavors only need 1 to 2 days. Sweeter, creamier dessert flavors need to be steeped for significantly longer. E-liquids that contain strong tobacco notes also need longer. We recommend at least 2 weeks for these heavier flavors, although some vapers leave them for even longer to enjoy an optimal flavor experience.
E-juice will darken slightly as it steeps and mellows. You can use this as a visual indicator to make sure that your juice is steeping.
If you are steeping commercial e-juice, you should always check the bottle for a born-on date or an expiration date. As a rule, vape juice has a shelf life of 2 years. If your juice is beyond that point, steeping will not improve the flavor.
How to Speed Up Steeping?
Steeping can be frustrating, especially for eager vapers who want to try their creations. The easiest way to tell if vape juice is done steeping is to test it. Once you are satisfied with the flavor profile that you have created, you can stop steeping.
If you are like us, you are eager to try your DIY vape juice. We have compiled a few tried and tested methods to speed up the process.
Here are some of the best hacks to accelerate steeping.
Try the Sink Method
Fill a tub or basin with hot water. It should be hot to the touch, but not scalding. Put your vape juice bottle in a plastic bag and then into the basin. Voila! This is a simple and effective way to speed up steeping. Check your e-liquid every few hours to see whether the flavor has reached its peak.
Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner
Ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency sound waves to remove foreign substances. DIY vapers use ultrasonic cleaners to agitate the ingredients in their e-juices.
Simply fill your cleaner with warm water, place your e-liquid bottles inside it, and turn the device on. The sound waves will cause the molecules to mix together far quicker.
Use a Crockpot
Believe it or not, your crockpot could be the answer to your problems. Put it on the lowest setting and pour water in. Stick your bag of e-juice bottles in, close the lid, and wait for a few hours.
Use a Magnetic Stirrer
Anyone who is part of the DIY vape community will have heard of magnetic stirrers. These handy devices force the ingredients in your mixture to interact and bond. Just transfer your concoction into a large container, put the container on top of a stirring plate, and let magnetism do the rest.
Try Seed Steeping
One of the best ways to speed up steeping is to mix unsteeped juice with steeped juice. As the name suggests, this practice ‘plants the seed’ for bonding.
This ratio is up to you. Most vapers put a small amount (5ml) of seed liquid in their new batch to preserve the unique flavors in their homegrown creation. The more seed you put in your e-liquid, the quicker this trick will work. Seed steeping can reduce steeping by a few days or even weeks!
Other E-Juice Steeping Hacks
When you Google ‘does steeping vape juice work’ you will be bombarded with thousands of homegrown methods for steeping e-liquid and quicken the process. Most DIY speed-steeping methods involve heating e-juice to some degree. Plastic is the most common material for e-liquid containers, so introducing heat might pose a problem.
It is tempting to try some of the wackier ideas on the internet, but you should steer clear of items such as hair dryers or microwaves. These household items produce far more heat than you need to steep e-liquid. Too much heat can ruin your e-liquid.
What Happens if You Steep E-Liquid for Too Long?
Now that you know how to steep e-juice, you need to know when to stop. Steeping is a delicate balance, and only you can decide when to stop steeping your e-liquid. After a certain amount of time, the benefits of steeping level out. If you leave your e-liquid for too long, it will start to deteriorate. This can present itself in a few ways, including harsh throat hits, no flavor, or strong flavor.
To avoid over-steeping, check your juice every now and then. Remember, only you can decide when to stop steeping. As you progress along your steeping journey, you will develop an eagle eye for colors.
If you have struggled to create palatable e-liquids in the past, steeping may have been the missing piece of the puzzle. Hopefully, by now you have an understanding of how to steep your vape juice for the best overall vape experience.
Steeping can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. There are lots of factors to think about, but ultimately you are in control of the process. Once you have experimented with steeping different flavor profiles with different speedy methods, you will have a set routine for your next batch of DIY e-liquid.