Let’s Talk About Steeping
Steeping (also commonly referred to as curing, aging, settling, or ripening) is a technique to enhance the flavor of e-juice. It involves a waiting period for as long as you let the e-juice sit for a while in an airtight container until the flavor sets. Almost all e-juices, including the commercially available ones require steeping. About 99% of all steeping process makes the flavor more intense and vibrant; only in rare circumstances that it actually makes the juice tastes worse. Just like all food recipes, you need to mix all ingredients together and actually cook them to get the delicacy you want. The difference is that you only need several minutes for the foods to cool down before you can eat them; in e-juice case, the waiting period is always much longer.
Why Steeping is Necessary
The base ingredients include water, nicotine, flavoring, and either VG (Vegetable Glycerin) or PG (Propylene Glycol). Both VG and PG are most commonly used as sweetener and preservatives in foods; some companies also use them in cosmetic products. There can be other additional compounds, but these make the foundation for everything. When all ingredients are put together to make an e-juice, they do not immediately undergo chemical reactions that produce the intended flavor. Steeping allows all other ingredients to saturate VG/PG and give best possible representation of flavor the mixture can provide.
VG is thick heavy sweet-tasting liquid, while PG is thinner but sweeter. An ideal e-juice recipe is one in which either PG or VG is fully saturated by other compounds. Even after vigorous mixing and shaking, you still need to let the mixture sit of a while until all substances unite with each other in perfect blend.
Some e-juice recipes actually require no steeping process because the ingredients already are potent and concentrated enough to the point where you can vape them right away after the mixture is ready. Nevertheless, giving them time to steep and ripe can further enhance the flavor. It is not necessary, but recommended anyway.
How to Steep
- As with any e-juice recipe, the first thing to do is mix all ingredients together in a container.
- When everything is inside, close the container tightly and shake it vigorously enough to let the mixture blend. If needs be, you can also use milk frother (you may have to use bigger container).
- Store the container in dark and cool area for a period of time.
- When the ingredients use alcohol, steeping procedures are mostly the same but you need to leave the cap off during the process. It allows the alcohol to evaporate. Do not let any foreign substance contaminate your recipe when open-steeping.
How Long is Steeping
There is no rule about how long you should steep. Steeping for 2 weeks should be good for any recipe. As a general recommendation, longer steeping period produces better flavor. Just make sure you don’t past the expiration date.