What is Steeping? How to steep your vape juice to improve its flavour

The deeper you go into the world of vaping, the more tips and tricks you stumble across that can improve your vaping experience. If we told you that, much like wine, there was a storing method known as “steeping” that can improve the flavour of your vape juice, you might think us rather pretentious! However, don’t be fooled by first impressions. Steeping is actually extremely easy to do and the results are clear to see. After all, if your favourite e-liquid becomes even more delicious, why wouldn’t you give it a try?

In this guide MIST will answer the question, “What is Steeping?” and give you the tools to start steeping your vape juice today! Soon you’ll be sampling bouquets like a consummate vape sommelier!

So, let’s get to it!

What is Steeping? How to steep your vape juice to improve its flavour?

  1. What is steeping?
  2. Why should I steep my e-liquid?
  3. How do I steep my e-liquid?
  4. How do I breathe my vape juice?
  5. How do I streath my e-liquid?
  6. How long does steeping take?
  7. How do I speed up the steeping process?
  8. Can I steep my vape juice for too long?

1. What is steeping?

As vaping is fairly new, many of the terms borrowed from the English lexicon take on an entirely new meaning. Steeping is no exception.

three bottles of vape juice

Outside of the context of vaping, it refers to soaking a solid in water to soften it or to extract flavour—like marinating meat or brewing tea. However, when we steep vape juice, what we are actually doing is “aging” it.

Essentially, by steeping your e-liquid you’re letting it age in order to improve its flavour. Simple right? There are several different ways you can do this, which we will cover later in the guide. Basically, all you’re doing is letting your vape juice sit. Time is the key factor here. By steeping your e-liquid, you’re allowing the ingredients (PG/VG, nicotine, flavourings) the requisite time to blend together, thereby improving the overall quality and flavour. 

2. Why should I steep my e-liquid?

Arguably, steeping is a method more suited to DIY vape juice than to most commercial, pre-made e-liquids.

Three bottles of eliquid

This is not to say that commercial vape juice won’t benefit from a little steeping, but most e-liquid on the market has actually already been steeped. This is because, most of the time, it’s been sitting on a store shelf for quite a while before making its way into your vape tank. However, as its freshly made, made-to-order e-liquid hasn’t had the privilege, so a little steeping will likely improve its quality.

When it comes to DIY vape juice, MIST would go so far as to say that steeping is a necessity! After all, if you’ve already taken the plunge into mixing up your own concoctions, chances are you wouldn’t want to miss out on a little more flavour enhancement!

There’s no question that a DIY  that’s been steeped will taste better than one that hasn’t. This is because, by steeping it, you’ve given the ingredients in your vape juice adequate time to congeal, resulting in a smoother, more pronounced aroma and flavour. Furthermore, some flavours of e-juice can contain trace amounts of alcohol, and this will evaporate during the steeping process.

3. How do I steep my e-liquid?

Though we already mentioned that steeping was very simple, there is still quite a bit of literature on the subject.

man using eyedropper to get ejuice

This is because there are several methods to speed up the process, as well as the related methods of “breathing”, and “steathing”. Stay with us! We’re going to make all this as easy to understand as possible.

To steep your vape juice, simpy store your closed bottles in a cool, dark place, like a small container, a drawer, or a cupboard for an extended length of time. We also advise that you give your bottles a shake every so often, as this will help to expedite the process. Yes, steeping is really that straightforward!

4. How do I breathe my vape juice?

Don’t confuse breathing with steeping—it’s an entirely different ball game! To breathe your e-liquid, simply take the cap off the bottle and let it sit for several hours.

Woman holding ejuice and vape kit

Vape juices containing alcohol will certainly benefit from a little breathing, but we think anything longer than 12 hours is ill-advised.

Although many dedicated mixologists attest that breathing can reduce the perfumey smell and taste from certain e-liquid flavours, some have reported it can also reduce the potency of flavour concentrates and nicotine. So, unlike with steeping, MIST would advise you to proceed cautiously! 

5. How do I streath my e-liquid?

Yes, we know it’s a clumsy-sounding word, but when you know streathing is just a combination of steeping and breathing, it makes a lot more sense.

vape juice on a table

In order to streath your vape juice, begin by shaking your bottles, then run them under a warm tap (warm, not hot!). Take the caps off and place them in a cool, dark place for a couple of hours. Finally, put the caps back on and give them a good shake.

What happens when you heat your e-liquid up with warm water is that the VG (vegetable glycerine) becomes thinner, rendering it more similar to PG (propylene glycol). Theoretically, the thinner base allows flavour molecules to become more miscible (form a more homogenous mixture). When the VG gets back to room temperature it will return to its former viscosity, but your e-liquid flavours will be more pronounced. 

6. How long does steeping take?

How long is a piece of string? We jest, but seriously, the amount of time steeping takes is highly dependent on what type of vape juice you’re steeping, along with your own subjective taste.

several bottles ejuice

Steeping, despite its widely reported benefits, is not an exact science, but there are a couple of pointers that can help you settle on that goldilocks time. 

Fruity flavours like our own Melo, need the least amount of steeping time—around 24-48 hours in order to achieve their peak flavour. Conversely, creamy dessert flavours like Rhubarb and Custard, as well as tobacco, tend to need a lot more steeping. We recommend that you steep these heavier flavours for at least two weeks, as they can become richer, darker and more intense. 

Bear in mind that steeping is trial and error. All that truly matters is that it tastes good to you, so give your e-liquid a taste during the process to see if its reached a satisfactory flavour. If you want to take it one step further, you can even keep track of your experimentation by keeping notes. While most people like to steep their vape juice for around 2-3 weeks, some even do so for months! It’s totally up to you. Just take note that your e-liquid becoming darker is a good indication that it’s been steeping.

Like we said before, as opposed to DIY vape juice, most commercial e-liquids have probably already had a good steeping. But check to see if your bottle has a manufacturer date, or expiration date. Judging by this you can determine if it may need steeping or not. But remember, steeping is not going to help e-liquid that has passed its sell-by-date. Quite the opposite! For more information, check out our blog on how long vape juice lasts.

7. How do I speed up the steeping process?

Patience may be a virtue but, understandably, some vapers might not have the time to idle away weeks for that perfect flavour! Cue the steeping shortcuts.

three ejuice bottles with vape kit

It’s important to note that speed steeping is a controversial topic among vapers—some swear by it, while others assure that it’s no substitute for the aforementioned virtue. The internet is filled with speed steeping methods like using a microwave or electric dryer, but as it’s hard to control the temperature using such methods, we’ve only included what we believe to be the most viable options. So, for those pressed for time and willing to experiment, here’s a few methods you can try:

Bath

Depending on how much vape juice you’re steeping, fill a bowl, sink, or bathtub with warm water. Not so hot that it’s boiling, and not so cold that it’s room temperature—think warm but comfortable enough to put your hand in.Seal your bottles of vape juice in a plastic bag, then pop your bag of e-liquid in the water and let it work miracles!

Slow cooker

No, we’re not digressing into a recipe for lamb goulash. The low, consistent heat that slow cookers apply can also speed steep your e-juice. Fill up your slow cooker with water and set it to the lowest setting. Then, place your bag inside the slow cooker, occasionally giving it a shake. Voila, your vape juice is steeped.

Magnetic Stirrer

This method is especially good if you’re creating your own vape juice. Transfer your e-juice into a sufficiently large container, ideally a glass one. Then just place it on top of the magnetic stirrer. That’s it!

Ultrasonic Cleaner

You may not be familiar with this device, let alone own one! But if you do happen to have an ultrasonic cleaner for vape gear, it can also double up as a speed-steeper! Just fill it with warm water, sit back, and let the ultrasonic waves travel through your e-liquid, allowing the molecules to rapidly mix together.

Seed Steeping

Despite sounding frustratingly similar to the subject of this chapter, seed steeping is actually very simple. All you have to do is blend your already steeped juice with fresh, un-steeped vape juice. By doing so you have planted a steeping “seed”, which will help to expedite the process in the un-steeped e-liquid.

8. Can I steep my vape juice for too long?

Absolutely. E-liquid that has been over-steeped is in danger of losing its flavour, and can even end up becoming harsh on your throat.

steeping ejuice

Of course, it all depends on what ingredients the vape juice contains, and often there’s no way to know until a perfectly good bottle is kaput! 

What’s more, nicotine oxidizes over time, and may contribute an unpleasant flavour to your e-liquid. However, this is more likely to happen when your vape juice isn’t stored correctly. If you keep an eye on the sell-by-date, stick to the storing guidelines, and are aware of how long your vape juice will last, you’ll be totally fine!

Just ensure you don’t take steeping to an extreme, and always periodically check the e-juice you’re steeping. If it ticks all your sensory boxes, fill up and get vaping!

Conclusion

We know, when it comes to vaping, there can be an overwhelming amount of info out there, and this is especially true of steeping. This is why we try to break it down as clearly and succinctly as we can, so there’s something for beginners and veterans alike! 

We hope this guide has provided you with everything you need to get started on your journey as a true vape connoisseur! So, whether you’re making your own DIY e-liquid from scratch, or feel like a commercial blend could use a helping hand, you can’t go wrong with a bit of steeping! Just remember that it’s more like an art than an exact science, and may require a decent amount of experimentation before you find your groove. For some it may not be worth the time and effort, but others will never look back!

Looking for more vaping beginner tips and tricks? Take a read of some related articles below:

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