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Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
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Xprimentyl Offline
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Post: #1
Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
I hoped this question might have been asked somewhere within this forum, but couldn’t find it. My apologies in advance if I overlooked it and am repeating the topic and would greatly appreciate a link to the existing answer, but on the off chance I’m the first, here we go:

 

Steeping: What, When, Where and How?

 

I see “steeping” mentioned quite a bit on here, but everyone seems to be in the know already. Then I saw Suicide Bunny offers a limited/collector’s edition Mother’s Milk that’s been steeped for 6 months to the tune of a “steep” five times the price of a regular 30ml bottle; needless to say, I was intrigued, just not enough to drop $100 bucks to find out! I did some rudimentary research, and besides finding myriad different ways people choose to steep their e-juices, I saw just as many results, both positive and negative, so I’m coming to the experts:

 

WHAT juices should one steep? Are there certain flavor profiles that benefit more from the steeping process? Are there those that more often suffer from it? Should you steep primarily basic/house flavors or do people steep more complex flavors as one might find in a premium juice?

 

WHEN is the soonest one could expect the effects of steeping to be noticeable and what’s a good median time to expect significant benefits from the process? 6 months is a long time to wait for a vape of Mother’s Milk which already tastes incredible; I’d rather not have to wait that long. Some sites said a day or two, but that seems equally absurd to think that cracking the cap and waiting 2 days makes a drastic difference, but what do I know?

 

WHERE should one steep? Some sites say a dark drawer; others day dimly lit rooms out of direct sunlight, etc.; who’s right? Or perhaps do the different process yield different results?

 

HOW does one steep? Some people crack the cap open to introduce air, reseal it and wait, some leave the cap off for a while, then seal it up and wait, some people place open bottles of juice in warm water, wait for the water to cool, then seal the bottles and wait. WTH? Again, do the different process yield different results?

 

I may or may not venture into this depending on the responses this gets, but I’m completely open to the idea that I might not be refined enough to even appreciate the difference!

There's no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM.’ There’s no ‘U’ either. It doesn’t appear the TEAM needs us, so let’s go grab a beer!Drinks
(This post was last modified: 29-04-2015 08:39 PM by Xprimentyl.)
29-04-2015 08:37 PM
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Almost Jaded Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
First of all - always in the dark.  Sunlight is the enemy of vape juice regardless of your preferences for steeping.  I have a craft box that all my juices and extra tanks live in, and I'm not even a big believer in steeping.

The idea behind it is like that of aging wine.  The chemicals have more time to break down or pair up, and it increases flavor and smoothness.

I personally don't buy into it.  I shake/stir my juice well to ensure everything's mixed properly, and I vape it.  I have a pretty good palette, and the difference between a steeped juice and a recently mixed one is extremely subtle, and proper blending makes it almost zero.

As for which flavors...  That's hard to say.  I can tell you that my wife has a strange blend that she's partial to, that ages like milk.  I dunno how she keeps vaping it, a month old bottle tastes like rancid ass and hits so harshly you can barely inhale it at 12 watts.

My flavor seems to age well, and does pick up a little bit of flavor after it's sat for a long time - but I also find that properly agitating it before use nets pretty much the same result.

YMMV...   

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29-04-2015 09:54 PM
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Michael Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
I can't believe we don't already have a thread about steeping. Great question!

Like Jaded said, steeping should be done in the dark, or at the very least, out of direct sunlight. I keep all my juices locked in a cash box, but you can stick them in a cupboard, in a drawer, on the top shelf of a closet... Basically anywhere that is dark and won't be easily accessible to kids or pets. 

Some juices really need to be steeped, others can be vaped right away but benefit from steeping, and others are vape-ready immediately. There are certain flavors that absolutely MUST be steeped if you're mixing your own juice, especially custard since it will have a peppery taste when it's first mixed but will mellow out over time. But most flavors that you buy from a store fit into the second or third category: ready to vape, but may benefit from steeping for a while. 

As for which flavors need steeping, it's really a taste thing. If you like the flavor straight out of the bottle immediately after buying it, then you don't need to steep it. Dessert flavors, like custard, chocolate, apple pie, etc usually benefit from steeping for a while, whereas tobacco flavors (from my experience) are better if you use them right away. Fruits can go either way, some people steep them and others don't. 

The way I steep things is just leave the bottle open in a safe dark place for a couple hours, to get fresh air circulating over the surface. Then reseal it, shake it up, and let it sit for a while. Depending on the juice, I sometimes let them sit for a week or two, and sometimes I'll let them steep for as much as two months. To determine when it's ready, just try it in an RDA. If it tastes good, it's ready. Like Jaded mentioned, it's a bit like aging a fine wine: you can drink it immediately, or you can wait a few months, or you can wait years, depending on how you like it. Most e-liquid will turn horrible if you leave it too long, I know I've accidentally left juice steeping for 9 months before and it tasted awful afterwards, but then again I've also had juice that was steeped for 14 months and turned out spectacular. It all really boils down to your personal taste, and the juice in question.

So to sum up: steeping can enrich the flavor of your juice, but it's really up to you to decide if you want to steep it or not. Case in point: my favorite juice for the past few months has been Charlie's Custard by Charlie Noble. It tastes absolutely amazing if I steep it for about two weeks, but after about a month or so it starts to taste somewhat muted. So I usually like to steep it for a while, but not too long. But if I run out of steeped juice, I'll buy a few bottles and use one right away while the others steep. It's still good, but I prefer to let it steep for a while. 

I hope that made sense and was helpful. Maybe some other folks will add to what I've said here. Smile
30-04-2015 02:42 AM
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Breazy_Com Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
Well put Jaded and Michael ! Most big name brands have already been steeped before shipping. But, if you buy from a place that makes the juices to order they probably will need to be steeped for a while. You kind of get a feel for what and when to do by trial and error or experience.
30-04-2015 03:07 AM
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Don Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
Fruits in general are ready to go from immediately after mixing though depending on the flavour concentrate may improve after a week or two. I have a very powerful strawberry flavouring that seems to need a week or two after mixing till it is ready to vape.

Anything containing dulce de leche as many custards do is going to need a long steep. I have some 8 month old custard that tastes lovely but is now far too high in nicotine for me.

I reckon that, the more complex the mix, the longer it is likely to need to "settle down". Single flavours are usually ready to go straight away. Anything containing a vanilla custard flavouring is going to need 2 weeks at the very least and will be better after a month.

Some flavours are always going to be horrible no matter how long you steep them. I've made my share of tear gas juice...

But all of us have different tastebuds and YMMV.

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30-04-2015 05:05 AM
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Xprimentyl Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
Yep, sounds like steeping might be a bit much for me at this time. I’m certain I’m far too “green” to appreciate the intricacies affected by steeping; I need to settle in and determine the basics of what I like and don’t like before I can honestly gauge the finer details of those same things.

 

I have taken away, however, that despite granting me convenient access on my way out the door each day, atop my piano in the living room might not be the best place for storing my juices! I’ve got an empty drawer I’ll be consigning them to from now on. And who knows; maybe that Caramel Brulee Café I was really excited about might taste a bit better in a week or two?

There's no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM.’ There’s no ‘U’ either. It doesn’t appear the TEAM needs us, so let’s go grab a beer!Drinks
30-04-2015 01:27 PM
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Almost Jaded Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
On top of your piano is fine - just get a cool looking box to put them in.  Wink

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30-04-2015 08:20 PM
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Xprimentyl Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
Like a badass humidor, but for e-juice!Biggrin 

There's no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM.’ There’s no ‘U’ either. It doesn’t appear the TEAM needs us, so let’s go grab a beer!Drinks
30-04-2015 08:42 PM
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RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
Hellz ya!

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30-04-2015 09:01 PM
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Michael Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Steeping: spelled with 3Ws and an H
New life mission: buy a giant fancy humidor and convert it to a steeping environment for my juice. 
01-05-2015 06:03 AM
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