Steeping a process that’s somewhat shrouded in mystery. No one is quite sure why time, and time alone, affects the flavor of some e-liquids to a certain degree. All that’s known is that there is a difference in the flavor between steeped, and unsteeped e-liquids. The problem is time. A very valuable problem. So my goal is to find ways to get the best juice possible, in the shortest amount of time possible. So I wanted to know if you should leave your steep alone. Meaning, after you mix, should you seal it and not open or use that e-liquid until the full amount of time has passed by? Or can you get the same results, all while vaping through that e-liquid that is steeping? Some of us make very big batches, and sometimes we need to fill our vapes up, so we don’t want to wait the full week or sometimes months, before we can vape. So this is what I wanted to find out.
I took two juices of the same recipe, mixed at the same time, and labeled them A and B. Exhibit A was the e-liquid that would be sealed, put away, and left alone until the entire steep has passed (4 days). Exhibit B was the e-liquid that I would periodically vape from, while it also is “steeping”. And during those few days, I’ve vaped from Exhibit B around 10-11 times, only dripping a few drops each time.
Exhibit A would show signs of a “more steeped” e-liquid because it contains the full amount of the aroma’s within the entire solution. Exhibit B, would show signs of a “less steeped” e-liquid because it contains “less” aromas suspended within the entire solution
The Actual Result
So, my hypothesis was wrong. It was the complete opposite. Exhibit B tasted a bit more steeped, and even took on a darker shade of color. Now there are a few reasons why that may have happened. One, maybe it was due to the amount of total volume in the mix. The less volume of diluent, the more the aromas are able to “steep”. Or two, the active exchange of air within the bottle allows faster steeping. Or three, the heat from constant movement and body temperature causes the steep to speed up a bit. I’m not exactly sure why, but the answer is this. If you want to vape your e-liquid while it steeps, feel free. There will be no difference in the taste, or the speed, of the product after its “full” steep time. In fact, it may even reach that point quicker.
As a vaper who started with Mt. Baker Vapor when they first set up shop in B’ham, WA and offered inexpensive juice by leaving the steeping duties to the buyer was a learning experience. I and many others who lived in the area tried everything to speed up the process, but as Wayne noted, use it from the start and the last in the bottle can reach the finish point. If you take notes or have a great memory you can narrow the steep time for your next purchase or DIY recipe.
I’d say that we all quickly learned that yes, you can vape most of the juices (primarily fruit) immediately and as the volume went down, day after day, the flavor increased. I do it with most of my fruit recipes. Tobacco, in my experience, NET or synthetic, does require a fair amount of steep time.
However, I’ll be sticking to my warm water bath and mag stir to reduce steep times by 50% or better. Life is too short for steeping…
I think agitation has a big part in steeping, if you shake a liquid every day while steeping it will steep twice as fast.