Have you ever tried a brand new E-Liquid to discover it’s not quite as you expect? Maybe it taste bland, Maybe it taste like perfume, Maybe it Just taste so damn awful in which words simply can’t describe.
You know it’s not you because the E-Juice you was using a moment ago using the same setup taste just fine and dandy thank you very much! Your first instinct is to get hold of the vendor who sold you this toilet water and wring his neck, for surely he has screwed you over.
But hold on take a deep breath now, Have you considered the age of the E-Liquid? Have you considered steeping before commencing your tirade against your supplier?
What Is Steeping?
Steeping is the term used by the food industry in general for the process of allowing flavours to fuse with the other ingredients.
Remember how Granny always insists on the Christmas pudding be allowed to stand in her favourite brand of Brandy overnight before cooking and serving it to you after your Christmas Dinner? This is because Granny is full of wisdom, and she knows her Christmas pudding is always at its best when it has been allowed to ‘Steep’ in brandy overnight.
Your Local Free House maybe doing a blinding trade on new Ale they have in stock. The secret behind this Ale is the brewer uses reclaimed whisky casks in the brewing process. So the ale is ‘steeped’ in these reclaimed Whisky casks which gives it, its authentic taste.
It is widely believed, much like fine Wines, the ageing of E-Juice improves the quality of the flavour. Within reason as unlike fine wines E-Liquid uses ingredients which at some point will begin to degrade usually 2 years from manufacture. It is therefore always important to observe the use by date that should be clearly displayed on the products label.
So How Do I use steeping to improve My Vape?
This is where the topic begins to get interesting. Over the years the vape industry has grown massively along with demand and the range of products offered to us is very diverse to say the least. It seems not a day goes by where a new E-juice flavour or Vapouriser is offered to us.
First it’s important to understand what’s in your chosen E-Liquid product before deciding what steeping method to adopt. All E-liquid consists of 3 Key ingredients Propylene glycol, Vegetable Glycerine & food flavouring. If you have Nicotine content in your chosen product then naturally this will be a fourth key ingredient. All the key ingredients affect the overall flavour you’ll experience.
Propylene glycol (PG)
This is widely used for its food flavouring carrying properties. As such the flavouring will fuse with Pg fast and the taste will be much more potent. Pg also provides more of a throat hit as long as nicotine is included in the mix too.
Vegetable Glycerine (VG)
Is used for its ability to produce more vapour but is not so good at fusing together with food flavourings. It is also a lot thicker than Pg. So the higher the Vg the higher the viscosity you’re E-Juice will have. Vg has no throat hit properties so E-Liquids with high Vg content produce very smooth flavours. Good for sweet & Fruity flavours, Not so good for flavours such as Tobacco.
Many producers of Nicotine make claims that their product is tasteless; well this maybe as a standalone product but Nicotine without doubt enhances food flavourings in Vape Refills. I currently use 24mg Nicotine strength (soon to be prohibited by the Eu’s TPD GRRRRR!!) in my ecig. If I use 0mg E-Liquid which I know is the exact same mix regarding Pg / Vg and flavourings, then to me the flavour is far weaker.
So now you understand a bit more about the ingredients of your beloved E-juice let’s explore a little about various steeping methods you may wish to try in your quest to get a more satisfying vape.
This is the easiest and in all fairness the most recommended form of steeping. Simply leave your E-Juice in a cool dark area, a kitchen cupboard for instance. Away from exposure of direct sunlight which may cause damage to the product. Also make sure you leave it out of reach of young children and pets. It is likely this won’t be at the forefront of your mind 24 / 7 and the last thing anybody wants is any misfortunate mishaps. Many people like to remove the bottle cap also to allow the E-Liquid to breathe.
This involves shaking and / or stirring the e-Liquid allowing air to really mix in with your e-Juice. Don’t forget to ensure the bottle cap is securely fastened before shaking! I have known people who sometimes throw a bottle of e-Liquid in the back of the glovebox of their car and leave it there for a week or so to ferment. The motion of the vehicle takes care of all the shaking in this instance.
Also considered as ‘speed steeping’. This should be used as a last resort, the reason being this method can so easily backfire. Nicotine will degrade significantly if it is subjected to temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. However for those times of emergency this is certainly a method which can be considered. There are 2 methods in which this can be accomplished the first is to allow your bottle of e-Juice to stand in luke warm water. The second is to place the product in a microwave and give it short burst of only a second maybe 2 seconds. Always remember if your e-Liquid has nicotine in it then the Nicotine will begin to degrade if the temperature reaches over 30 degrees Celsius.
How Long Should I Steep My E-Juice For?
Now that you know a little more about what goes into your e-Liquid and how it is made the answer to this question is a matter of your individual taste and the overall make up of your E-juice. A high Pg/Vg ratio will generally require less steeping than a high Vg/Pg ratio favoured by Cloud chasing enthusiast. Also don’t forget to consider your Nicotine dosage.
If your E-Liquid contains Nicotine, then another clue to look out for is the E-Juice Colour will become darker in appearance the more it matures.
Vaping in the beginning is a lifestyle choice, but for many it becomes much more than that, turning into a loved hobby. We are all different with individual tastes, the world would be pretty boring if we wasn’t.
As you become more experienced on your vaping journey you will learn many new techniques that work well for you and choose e-Liquids and devices that work well for you from the thousands of products that are offered on the market to you.
I hope this article gives you sufficient background to add to your skill set as a vaper and would love to hear your success stories. What worked well for you and what didn’t go to well?