Organic E-Juice Steeping 101
It’s an unavoidable reality that the methods used to create most kinds of e-juice can have some unsavory effects on flavoring. “Steeping” can be a reliable way to ensure you get as little of that extra noise as possible. For example, e-juice is created using a PG or VG base (which stands for propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin respectively). PG is a chemical that is used for many different reaqsons, like deicing jumbo jets, and is not the ideal method to transfer nicotine to your body. VG, on the other hand, is known as a much more organic mixture because it is created using vegetables in a similar process to ethanol. VG is the primary ingredient of all of the great, organic juices here at LucysVaporPens.com. None of our organic e juices contain PG.
Either way, there is always a certain amount of either medium that is left within your e-juice. That’s why many experienced vapers have begun to steep their liquids. From a chemistry standpoint, this is a complicated process that fundamentally changes the mixture that you ingest. From a user standpoint, there are many different options on how to accomplish this- and almost all of them are simple and straightforward. It might just take a little bit of patience. This guide will help you understand what it is you are missing out on if you don’t steep, while giving you some reliable options if you do. Steeping is just another step towards a healthier e-juice experience.
What is Steeping?
Steeping, in some ways, is a bit of a misnomer. When it comes to e-juice, steeping refers to any of the many methods that “age” your liquid. It removes the plastic-y and undesirable tastes that come with chemical concoctions. It also is a great way to fully mix your PG/VG mixture- which is a commonplace method to get the best of both worlds. There are a few posts here on the website that can help you understand the relationship between PG and VG, but suffice to say that steeping can have a positive effect regardless of the mixture you use.
The term “steeping” is a false one because it is somewhat misleading. Steeping usually refers to the practice of placing solids in liquids to leach the solid and transfer the material to the same liquid mixture. For example, tea is steeped. You place the solid leaves in a hot water mixture (heat is always better to facilitate chemical change) and dunk them until the water has taken on the qualities of the tea leaves. That is your typical steeping method.
For e-juice, there is no solid that you are steeping into the liquid, at least for your purposes. It just seems to accomplish a similar goal. By the end of your steeping journey, your mixture should seem more concentrated, like a cup of tea would when it is steeped for a longer time. Many have likened this process to something closer to marinating. You are placing substances in close proximity to each other and encouraging them to combine. What you end up with, in any case, is almost always worth the effort.
Why Should You Steep Your E-liquids?
Steeping does many things, on a chemical level, that will make your e-juice more palatable. For organic e-juices on LucysVaporPens.com, this can be an especially valuable change. For example, the best-selling Patriots Brew from the Tobacco Ridge line by Kind Juice is a finely-crafted e-juice that is brewed over a period of 4 months and contains exotic flavors like whiskey, maple, bourbon vanilla beans, and even a hint of aged oak barrel. When you buy this e-juice, you are committing to a product that is designed to present complex flavors from high quality ingredients. Steeping a juice like this is almost a given.
In fact, that’s why the folks at Kind Juice recommend steeping this juice for 24 hours before using it for the first time. This concept is not just beneficial for Kind Juices, nearly every brand of e-juice would benefit from the extra effort to get the flavors to blend completely and to fully oxidize the mixture.
Although it may sound like this is a complex idea, oxidizing is something that happens naturally and without much effort on your part. It simply describes the process in which a substance combines with oxygen molecules. For a start, the nicotine present in your organic e-liquid will oxidize and become much sharper, intense, and begin developing a bit of a bite. But the real star of the show are the flavor compounds. When the molecules in these flavor compounds touch the taste buds in your mouth and nose, the extra oxygen acts as a facilitator for the flavor, creating an even better experience.
Steeping, Breathing, and “Streathing”
If you look into steeping for any amount of time, you might come across a couple of different ideas when is comes to adding that extra bit of oxygen to your e-juice. Here is a quick comparison of the 3 main methods to take some of the mystery out of the jargon:
Steeping: This is the method that has been covered so far. Typically, steeping means leaving your e-juice in a cool, dark, dry place and waiting for a while for the mixture to fully oxidize and “age”.
Breathing: Breathing takes the idea of steeping and cranks it up to 11. When breathing your e-juice, you will take the lid off of your new canister of e-juice and leave it open to the air for about 12 hours. This is an accelerated version of oxidizing and is recommended only when you know what you are doing. Letting your e-juice breathe for too long can have a lessening effect on both the intensity of the nicotine and the flavors.
Streathing: This is a made-up word for a method that requires you to both breathe and steep your e-juice for an even more intense experience. You will likely breathe your juice for 12 hours and then steep for another 24-48, depending on your flavor preference. Another method is to steep your e-juices and to periodically take the caps off to let them breathe throughout the steeping process. It will take a good amount of effort to figure out the right timing for this method so be prepared for some trial and error. Regardless of how you get the oxygen into your e-liquid, you are trying to accomplish the same goal- a better e-juice that’s fully ready for you to experience at the peak of its powers.
How to Steep:
1. Remove the wrappers and covering from your bottle of organic e-liquid.
2. Place these bottles in cool, dark place for an amount of time that is specified by the type of e-juice (See: Different Steeping Times for Different Flavors).
3. Once a day, shake the bottles so that the large molecules on the bottom of the container are further mixed with the rest of the mixture. This will also aid in the oxidizing process.
4. At the end of the process, your juices are ready to use. It is recommended that you keep your bottles in the dark, however. Without their labels, any amount of light will slowly degrade your work.
Tip: A refrigerator or freezer can be the perfect place to steep your e-liquids. It’s already designed to ward off the decomposing effects of light and is always cool.
Different Steeping Times for Different Flavors
Believe it or not, steeping times are highly reliant on the flavor of the e-juice in question. The rule of thumb here is “the heavier the e-juice, the longer you should steep it”.
Fruity Flavors: These lighter flavors have little need for steeping and are generally ready right out of the box. That being said, if you have a steeping process and don’t want to change your methods- it won’t hurt. Just don’t do it for any longer than 24 hours and forget about breathing it.
“Dessert” Flavors: These include any of the sweeter flavors that aren’t expressly light and fruity. Anything that tastes like caramel, cinnamon, or marshmallow can be considered a dessert flavor. These can, and should, be steeped for better results. In this case, you’ll want to steep them for about a week before they are finished and ready to consume. If you’ve ever been off put by this kind of flavoring in your e-juice- it could be because you should be steeping.
Tobacco Flavors: If dessert flavors “should” be steeped, it’s fair to say tobacco flavors “must” be steeped. These are typically the harshest, and yet complex, flavors that you can find on the market. Steeping a tobacco e-juice will help bring out the true flavor of the tobacco and the nicotine and give you a truly transcendent e-juice experience. If you’ve been waiting for a flavor that will make you forget about cigarettes, try steeping some high-quality tobacco e-juice like the Highway 66 e-juice from the same Tobacco Ridge lineup brought to you by Kind Juice or Trubacco by Vape Organics. It is available to purchase, here, at LucysVaporPens.com.
You might be like millions of vape enthusiasts and don’t particularly enjoy the idea of getting a brand new e-juice flavor without being able to use it. Luckily for you, the people that love to get instant satisfaction can be quite resourceful when it comes to finding ways to get it. That being said, these methods have not been completely vetted and therefore you must try at your own risk. Here are some options if you don’t feel the need to put your e-juice in the fridge for a whole week:
1. Water Bath Method: Take your bottles and put them in a waterproof container, like a ziploc bag. Then submerge them in hot water. When the water has cooled, breathe the bottles for a short time and then shake until cured. Another option is to breathe your bottles in a bath like this one, being careful to keep the water out of the open tops.
2. Slow-Cooked E-juice: If you own a slow-cooker, use the same method as above but keep the e-juice in for about 2-3 hours. This will guarantee constant heat for that period of time and is rather effective. Be sure to use a low heat.
3. Set It and Forget It: If you want to halve the time you would spend steeping in a cool, dark place. Try a hot, dark place- like a car glove box in the summertime. Just be aware that this is a very uncontrollable situation and could result in overheating.
4. Steeping with a Seed: This is a simple solution that won’t set your house on fire. Simply use a small amount of an already steeped liquid and combine it with your un-steeped juice. Wait for about 24 hours and the mixture should be ready to vape.
Conclusion It’s very important that you, as a consumer, know what you are doing once you get your first batch of e-juice. As with anything else, your enjoyment of something can have a lot to do with how well you understand it. That’s why LucysVaporPens.com wants you to be as well educated about our organic e-juices as possible. When it comes to your satisfaction, it is our top priority. Juices like the Patriots Brew and Highway 66 should be taken very seriously. The manufacturing process for these products is done with care and precision. It’s only right that you be as well-prepared as possible to get the best experience you can from them.
But they aren’t the only juices available on our website that could benefit from a little curing. Check out any of the options here and see what sticks out to you. As always, you can expect the best prices and the best products from Lucy’s Vapor Pens.