Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it may seem. In the video above, I answer a question that was asked, where a viewer wanted to know how you could tell if your recipe needed to steep. Steeping is the simple process of letting your e-liquid “age”, and often helps the ingredients inside become more “refined”. Understanding this, steeping usually brings a small, positive change to our recipes (though, sometimes it can be a negative). Remember, steeping can make a good recipe great, but it can never make a bad recipe good.
With that said, it’s always best to assume that if your e-liquid tastes really bad from the start, no amount of steeping will help it become better. Just toss it out, and head back to the drawing board. Now, if you have a mix, and it tastes pretty good, how do you know if it needs time to age? Well, the best and shortest answer is experience.
As someone who has been mixing many years, I can tell when a recipe tastes “fresh”. I can tell when CAP Sweet Strawberry tastes fresh, and know what it tastes like after a few weeks, or months. There are many different ingredients, and combinations of ingredients, that I’m this familiar with. This of course, all comes with constant mixing, experimenting, and practice. In the video, I give a couple examples with recipes that need to steep, and what they taste like prior to it.
But what if you’re someone without that much experience, how can you tell? Well, I can say that custards and tobaccos usually need a steep, period. Custards often bring an astringent, oily flavor with them, when they are first mixed. And this usually subsides with time. Tobaccos often aren’t “robust” enough, and become more rich with age. There are many fruits that taste a bit too watery at first, some fruits are a bit too bright, or too strong at first, and steeping helps balance them out. But it’s very difficult for a new mixer to tell when an ingredient is just bad, or badly mixed, or needs a steep.
So, get out there and keep mixing. Don’t focus on steeping too heavily. Like I mentioned previously, steeping only brings small refinements. So focus more on building the best shake and vapes you can, and as time goes on, you’ll pick up on which flavors need time, and which don’t.