Does your vape juice taste funny all of a sudden? Does it look clumpy and thick? Before you throw it out, there might be a way to restore it to its former taste. You might have to steep it!
Steeping is an incredibly simple process that can help you get the maximum flavor and value from every vaping cartridge you buy. It doesn’t cost you anything except time. And all you need to steep right here and now is the right method.
This article will explain just how easy it is to steep e-liquids. We’ll highlight and explain every step and share our expert tips to ensure your cartridges provide the best quality experience.
Firstly, what is steeping?
Steeping vape juice has become a common practice for many people wanting to extend the life of their cartridge. Simply put, it’s when you allow e-liquid to gather, blend and mature over time.
Scientifically, steeping sees a chemical change in amino acids and sugars, known as the Maillard Reaction. This change alters the taste and texture of the liquid.
There are many reasons you should steep vape juice. If your e-liquids have become stale and bitter, steeping can help remove harsh chemical tastes and rebalance flavors, helping ensure that you get the very last drop out of your cartridge.
It can work with many of the most popular oil cartridges, including vegetable glycerine (VG), nicotine, and propylene glycol (PG). Not only can steeping help improve and resolve flavor issues, but it can also aid in evaporation and infusion during smoking.
Step-by-step on how to steep vape juice
1. Shake the bottle first
Before steeping, you must shake the bottle. Hold it in one hand and shake it with some force. This ensures that the ingredients and flavors of the juice mix together and are evenly distributed throughout the bottle.
Take the cap off and allow the bottle of e-liquid to breathe for about thirty minutes before replacing the lid. Some might repeat this process periodically throughout the steeping process to ensure an optimal blend and that ingredients disperse evenly.
2. Store appropriately
Once the bottle has been shaken and the ingredients mixed, it’s time to store it. As simple as this may seem, you must place your cartridge in an ideal environment to protect the juice and enable steeping.
Vape cartridges thrive best when placed in a cool, dark, and controlled space, as changing fluctuating light and temperature can severely compromise the juice’s quality, texture, and flavor.
Place your cartridge in a dark place, like a cupboard or drawer, that is both room temperature and away from open drafts, radiators and heaters, and windows. UV rays from sunlight, for example, are known to reduce the potency of cannabinoids considerably over time.
Finally, remember to store your cartridge in an upright position. This ensures the ingredients settle together and won’t clog up your device.
One of the essential stages of steeping is, of course – waiting. This is when you must be patient and allow the settling and blending process to happen. So how long should it take for your vape juice to settle?
Sadly, the steep time will depend on the vape juice in question, including how complex a flavor it is. Simple fruit-flavored vapes can steep in as little as two or three days, while more complex products like tobacco, custard, and creamy vape juices can take up to one month.
4. Shake or not shake?
During the steeping period, many people will shake the bottle daily to ensure an even distribution of ingredients around the bottle. This is especially important if your juice has more than one flavor. Simply shake for 15-30 seconds, and place back upright in a cool, dark space.
5. Taste test
After the recommended time has elapsed, it’s time to assess the e0liquid and see if there has been any improvement in flavor, texture, and performance. Having a notepad nearby to record your findings is a good idea, as this can help make future steeping more predictable and straightforward.
If the flavor has improved, you can use your cartridge and enjoy a better vaping experience! If it has not, perhaps you need to allow it to steep for a more extended period and shake it more frequently.
You may also need to consider if the cartridge has been compromised. For example, cartridges steeped in sunlight will result in non-existent flavor and a harsh hit. Additionally, you should check the expiration date of the juice to ensure it hasn’t degraded.
Five other steeping methods to try
Below are some other methods you can try to improve the flavor of your vape juice:
1. Warm water
This simple method uses heat to speed up the steeping process and can be helpful with simple flavorings. Fill a large container or sink with hot water. Place your vape bottle in a plastic bag, and then place the bag gently into the water.
Allow to sit and check periodically for any changes in texture or viscosity. The plastic bag ensures that the bottle won’t break or crack with the heat change.
2. Use hot rice
This DIY rice method also uses heat. Place a bowl of uncooked rice into a microwave until it becomes hot. Then, bury your vape juice in the bowl and leave until the bottle acclimatizes. Take off the cap, allow the liquid to breathe, and test the flavor. Repeat until the desired flavor is achieved.
3. Slow cooker or crock-pot
Fill your slow cooker with water, and place vape juice bottles inside a zip-lock bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible. Place it inside the cooker on a low setting.
The key is in the name – slow cookers can take anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours to heat up. During this time, keep a watchful eye on how your bottles are reacting. When you’re happy, take them out carefully, allow them to breathe, and shake them before testing.
Breathing is taking the lid off your bottles and allowing oxygen to come in contact with the juice. This is useful in two scenarios; firstly, taking the cap off can allow this to happen if you want certain chemicals released from the bottle.
Secondly, if your vape juice contains alcohol, allowing it to breathe for a period can help accelerate the maturity process, similar to how we mature wine.
5. Electric Dryer
Unconventional and not as popular as previous methods, you can also use an electric dryer to accelerate the steeping process. Place your e-liquid bottles in a simple sock and tie the top closed with a rubber band.
Place gently inside the drum of your electric dryer, and turn it on to a low setting for about 20 minutes. Afterward, you should remove the bottles and allow them to stand briefly. The mixture of heat and movement can be effective at maturing flavors and breaking up flavor concentrates.
- Not all e-liquids should be steeped. Some may lose their signature flavor or quality. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for more information.
- The more complex the flavors, the more time it will take for your vape juice to steep. Steeping tobacco or dessert flavors will be particularly lengthy.
- Steeping can be a time-consuming process. Many vapers will buy their vape juice in bulk to have a constant supply of product blending.
- Heating your oil, e.g., with hot water or rice, can speed up the steeping process. Be careful with regulating temperature, though – too hot, and you risk oxidating your flavor and compromising the juice entirely!
- When heating your bottles, always be careful not to expose them to too high a temperature. This might shatter the bottle or render the liquid unusable.
As our article has shown, steeping vape juice is a crucial and easy thing to do. It can considerably extend a cartridge or bottle’s lifespan and enhance and amplify its natural flavoring and texture.
The simplest way to steep it is to shake the juice and store it for an extended period in a cool, dark place. You may have to wait a few weeks for the liquid to dissipate fully, especially if it has complex ingredients.
You can use other DIY methods to accelerate the steeping process, including using hot water and rice or simply allowing the vape juice to breathe uncapped.
If you still have questions about how to steep vape juice or have expert tips to share with our readers, please comment below.
- Steeping vape juice is a simple process allowing it to mature and blend over time.
- The time it takes to steep can depend on the complexity of the flavorings.
- You can apply gentle heat to accelerate the rate of steeping by using hot water, a microwave, or a slow cooker.