You have all seen wine aficionados swirling a goblet in the air, gently letting the wine "breathe" before taking a satisfying sip. We know this makes the flavors better. What we might not know is that letting your e-juice “steep” before vaping has a lot of the same benefits as letting wine aerate.
What is Steeping?
When we are talking about vaping, steeping is a pretty simple concept. The simplest way to steep is to let the liquid age for about five days in a dark, cool place with the cap removed. This exposure to air allows solvents of the e-juice, especially any alcohols, to “burn off” any chemical aftertaste, leaving only the good flavors behind. Other methods can involve heating the juice to a certain temperature.
Reason #1: Flavor
Sometimes, depending on the manufacturer, the flavor of the e-juice is considerably improved if you allow it to sit and breathe. Just as wine can often taste too harshly of alcohol when it is straight out of the bottle, so can vape juice, and for the same reason. Alcohols or other solvents in the juice need to evaporate, leaving behind only the tasty flavor you want in a good vape. Moreover, the specific flavors can sometimes be too “perfumey” and can reach a pleasant mellowness after about a week or so. High-end brands of e-liquid often come pre-steeped and don’t necessarily need more steeping, but less-expensive varieties can almost always benefit by aging.
Reason #2: DIY = SIT
If you make your own do-it-yourself e-juice, having it sit and mellow will almost always result in a smoother, mellower flavor. The flavorings you chose will have a chance to blend, or, to use a term from fine cuisine, they will “marry” well. In your quest to be a great e-juice chef, you will have to practice, because some flavors may mellow out to the point of disappearing while others may reward your efforts. Try different approaches using heat vs. no heat, or any of the other methods for steeping for the best result.
Reason #3: Experimentation
A final reason to let your vape juice steep is simple experimentation. Sometimes, you will adore a flavor straight out of the bottle. Sometimes, you might not. Instead of assuming, that the flavor you got is no good, or the juice has somehow degraded, waiting and letting it aerate may completely solve the problem, saving you money. Even with a flavor you like right away, it might be worth it to experiment a little and see whether you like it better steeped or un-steeped. If you are mixing flavors, it isn’t always easy to judge in advance whether they will taste good together. Steeping can help bring out the truest, most mellow flavor in an e-juice.
Ultimately, steeping is a matter of personal taste. Depending on the flavor, the manufacturer, and even the mix of qualities you are going for, steeping may be a great new step in your vaping experience. Enjoy!