California Surfing and Vaping in Los Angeles, Calfornia

Ever wondered what steeping means when it comes to your e liquid? Well, think of a fine wine or bourbon and how it’s aged; that is why we steep ejuice.

Steeping is defined as putting a solid in water to soften, or to extract flavor from it. A more appropriate definition would be marinating or aging your e-juice.

Steeping e-juice involves letting it age in order to achieve it’s best flavor. There are many ways to do this. Essentially, it means letting the e-juice sit. The most important factor in this equation is time. It allows the ingredients (PG/VG, flavorings and nicotine) to blend together. Additionally, some juice can contain trace amounts of alcohol, depending on the flavoring used, which will evaporate during the steeping process.

As far as I’m concerned, the steeping process starts as soon as the batch is mixed. The time that the juice travels to the store and sits on the shelf is technically when the steeping process begins. However, the flavor will greatly benefit from additional steeping time.

You might be thinking, “Why do I have to do this myself!? Why can’t they just sell the juice when it's ready?” The reality is that it takes some time for PG, and especially VG, to properly soak up all the flavor molecules. Plus, that extra time will greatly enhance the taste of your e liquid.

Steeping simply allows the ingredients to congeal. Some flavorings contain alcohols which can taste harsh when they are first mixed. Steeping oxidizes the juice, which allows that alcohol to evaporate. The flavor becomes smoother, much like slow cooking your favorite meat.

This is when you place your closed eliquid bottles in a cool, dark place, such as a tall cigar box, for an extended period. It’s also recommended that you shake your bottles as often as possible to help expedite the process. However, the reality is that real steeping takes time.

Another way to speed up the process is to run the bottles under warm tap water. The heat from the water will get the molecules moving around faster. You could use your sink, or a bathtub if you have a lot of juice. We will go into more depth about “speed steeping” later.

So, how long do you need to steep your juice?

This is highly dependent on the juice. Fruity flavors tend to require the least amount of steeping time. Tobacco flavors need a bit more time to steep and creamy dessert e liquids take the longest time to reach their flavor peak. It’s recommended that you steep for at least two weeks, but some flavors may take longer, while others may be good right out the bottle. The majority of Cali Steam juices are ready to go right out of the bottle; however, steeping for seven to ten days from receiving your bottle can maximize the flavor.

Using warm water or a heat source such as a slow cooker, a computer fan or an ultrasonic cleaner will help to speed up the process. The whole point of steeping vape juice is to get the optimal flavor out of the juice, so if it tastes good to you, then you’re done. You should observe the color of your e liquid. If it becomes darker, then you know it has been steeping.

Some people like to steep their juice for two to three weeks, while others might even let it go for months. It’s highly subjective, so you can steep for as long as you want, but just make sure you are not going past that expiration date. The average shelf-life of e-juice is about a year.

After that, the nicotine will begin to degrade, which will have a negative impact on the flavor. If you notice a spicy taste when vaping, it is probably because your nicotine is on its way out. The flavoring will also start to diminish by that point, leaving you with juice devoid of flavor.

How to speed up the steeping process.

Most people simply don’t have time for steeping. Taste your juice. If you’re already satisfied with the flavor, don’t bother. Some people prefer the taste of freshly mixed juice, believe it or not. If you want to speed up the process, here’s a few speed steeping hacks that you can use:

Bath – Fill a bowl, sink or bathtub (depending on how much juice you’re steeping) with warm water. Not room temperature or boiling water, it needs to be just right. You can test it by putting your hand or elbow in it. Place your e liquid bottles in a plastic bag and let nature do the rest. Easy and effective.

Slow cooker – Slow cookers provide low heat at a consistent temperature for extended periods. Just fill it up with some water and set it to the lowest heat setting. Place your bag of e-juice inside and periodically shake them from time to time.

Ultrasonic cleaner – If you own an ultrasonic cleaner for vape gear or jewelry, it can also be used to speed-steep your juice. Just fill it up with warm water and let the power of ultrasonic waves send vibrations through your juice. This will allow the molecules mix together quickly.

Magnetic stirrer – Transfer your e liquid into a large container, preferably a glass one. Then place it on top of the magnetic stirrer and let science do the rest. This method works great, especially if you are creating your own DIY juice.

Final Thoughts

Steeping is not for everyone but is highly recommended for better tasting e-juice.

Vaping has already become a multi billion dollar industry. Many juice manufacturers can barely keep up with their rapidly expanding market. These companies probably want to get their products out as fast as possible to meet the demand of consumers like yourself. This means sometimes you might be getting a freshly mixed batch of juice that requires some steeping for it to taste just right.

Of course, you can order from companies that sell “pre-steeped” liquids, or you can just get lucky and get a batch that has already been sitting for enough time. Some flavors may not need to be steeped. On the other hand, if you’ve been steeping a bottle for months and it still doesn’t taste right, there’s always a chance that the juice is bad.