E juice Steeping Guide for Vapers
An Introduction To Steeping E Liquids
Steeping , as far as vapers need to know, is the process by which their ejuice is aged. This applies whether their e liquid is bought from a local vape store or online, or even made by themselves, or a friend at home, DIY style.
The steeping process is comparable to, although a lot simpler and less time consuming than, the way that winemakers age wine in the barrel, or lay down bottles to continue aging, while preferring some vintages to be enjoyed fresh, crianza. Brewers too value the process of cask conditioning, or bottle conditioning, as an essential part of the brewing process. Arguably more important than the initial mixing and fermentation processes.
Any beer, wine, or ejuice, can be enjoyed straight , with no aging whatsoever. No detriment to health, or risk of poisoning, or injury. But you wouldn’t be getting the product in the condition the producer intends it to be enjoyed. You wouldn’t be getting the best out of it.
Steeping, in terms of flavour:
- ensures the flavours are well mixed throughout the juice, with no layers of flavours, or layers of over or underconcentrated flavour.
- It usually rounds out the flavours and many blended juices containing multiple flavours could clatter and jangle on the palate without a good steep.
- In some cases it also allows the development of further flavour, or gives a completely different character to the juice.
- Some flavours may lose out and fade away in the steeping process. In a blend this can dramatically alter the overall flavour profile. A single flavoured juice may seem a bit weak, insipid.
- Ambient conditions will affect the process, steeping should take place in a cool, dark, well ventilated area. Too much light and heat will cause accelerated steeping, and over darkening of the juice.
It also changes the colour of the juice, as the oxidisation process which began at the initial mixing stage on exposure to air adds colour to the initially clear, opaque, or light straw to pale honey coloured juices.
It is important to note that not all e juices improve with steeping. The process while it will enhance some flavours, can diminish others, and , as stated this changes the overall character. And it’s very subjective. What, to some vapers, tastes better, may to others taste worse. So it’s in the hands of the producer to decide what is the optimum time to enjoy each juice at its best. The producer plays very much a Man from Del Monte type role.
Citrus Based Ejuices
(*not all straight citrus, but they have similar steeping characteristics and considerations.)
Cold Pressed Lime
In our Bucky Value range there are a number of straight ‘citrus’ juices.
The Strawman, LemLimeAde, Fuji Apple, Lychee, Mango and Sour Apple, all retain their bite throughout steeping. Surprisingly, the Sour Apple even fares well,with the zing still evident 6 months on. While LemLimeAde also keeps its sharpness, and it still manages to retain the two citrus flavours distinct from each other.
Colour change in these juices is minimal, and these flavours produce deep lime-tinged yellows to light golden honey tones, translucent rose pinks , attractive colours. The steeping process doesn’t diminish the citrus characteristic, as there are no rich tannin type flavours, or sweet caramelly tones to overpower it.
These flavours retain their ‘pop’:
- while mixed in combination with other pg based flavourings in concentrate form.
- Steeped with the VG/PG base, nicotine and other citrus flavours .
What this means is that fresh e juice blends depending on these flavours will show a full citrus element at the beginning of the aging process. After steeping, ejuice consisting of just citrus flavour profiles will retain the overall profile, with little apparent muting.
Blended juices with a citrus element
The following notes apply when mixed in a blend with VG/PG base, nicotine and other non-citrus flavours .
It’s in the case of citrus based blends that steeping has a more profound effect . The ‘pop’ ,initially, will become muted. And then the citrus aspect as a whole becomes muted, sometimes only a hint of the initial punch remains.
Citruses, when introduced as an element in a blend, need to be treated rather differently to other ﬂavours. Some of the following points are applicable to all e juice blends, not just citrus ones:
- Citrus notes take a secondary role after steeping.
- The astringency blends and becomes initially a background before disappearing altogether .
- The main change in the astringency takes place from 2-8 weeks after mixing.
- The colour after steeping can vary from almost clear, through to straw/pale yellow, through to a deep chocolate brown. Higher nicotine will also darken most ejuices, but it’s apparent even in zero nic juices.
- The process continues although the rate of subjective change to ﬂavours slows right down, as does the colour change, at about 8 weeks.
Bucky Value Range
The juices in the Value Range mainly affected by this are:
When mixed gives a predominantly fruity inhale, with depth from the perfumed blackberry, and some sharpness from the blueberry and raspberry. After an 8 week steep the juice becomes more biased to the menthol/anise aspect. It is still recognisable as a fruit/menthol blend, but the menthol/anise coolness is there as the predominant flavour.
Also containing sweet, perfumed blackberry is affected in a similar way, with both the blackberry and apple aspects, right at the fore initially, becoming less significant. Like Berry Mcguigan, and The Count of del Monte Cristo, the steeped and unsteeped versions are likely to appeal to different people.
The Sultan, a Special Case
From the Bucky Value line The Sultan is a special case, in that steeping transforms it into a distinctly different juice to its unsteeped incarnation. The juice, on mixing , retains the seperate flavours of the yoghurt, the lemon, and the cardamom with the pistachio and almond adding a background creaminess. Its a light ejuice not only in the colour, clear for the first two weeks, with a zestiness,a sweetness and a creamy nutty velvety smooth depth, and if anything the cardamom is the dominant overtone.
After just four weeks, a rather different Sultan starts to show its face, a darker, faintly chocolatey spiced rich cake or brownie. And in 6 weeks the predominant flavour profile is resoundingly…chocolate. And its a pretty good chocolate at that. Customers looking for a chocolate e liquid in the shop have been offered a sample of the Sultan, steeped, and invariably been satisfied.
From 6-8 weeks the Sultan goes into the final stages of its transformation to a deep spiced dark chocolate. With the colour to match. Side by side you’d never believe they were the same juice.
In our classic ejuice range Beetlejuice,and the Count of del Monte Cristo are most affected by this.
when freshly mixed is almost dominated by two types of zingy lime. Within days it starts to retreat, and the earthy perique comes to the fore , and the absolute starts to spread its wings, initially tempering the lime zest, and eventually taming it to a supporting undertone, which lifts the rich tobacco juice and adds a hint of rounded sweetness. Colour change is slow, from very pale straw coloured, to a darker golden straw finishing tone.
relies heavily on the zing of fresh pineapple in the freshly mixed blend. After 2 weeks of steeping the zing is tempered, and after 6-8 weeks the pineapple itself (along with the other two citrus type fruit elements) has become a mild hint, and melds instead with the caramel, to really give an interesting edge to a very accessible tobacco e liquid. After this change the caramelised tobacco takes on a deeper richer RY4 kind of flavour, with a heavy lean towards desserty, biscuity, almost finding a ‘custard’ type note in there.
Both of these e juices retain their character, and are clearly recognisable as the same juice, with a couple of subtle differences. Some regular customers don’t seem to have a preference, others enquire whether their preferred choice is available. Personally I prefer the steeped Beetle to the fresh, the longer steeped the better, and the Count I like at about weeks 2-5, while the pineapple remains distinct.
In our humble opinion,these superb nuanced tobaccos just get better and better. All contain a tobacco absolute booster, between 0.1 %and 0.8% of the finished juice and all are made up from only tobacco flavours. The absolute develops and matures and constantly holds the flavours together, keeping them very true to their intent, but somehow feeding and enriching the whole, really making something even more satisfying. Steep away, vape on delivery, it’s really just a case of personal taste.
The steeping process is slow with these, the initial four weeks steep gives the colour change and the shift from ‘green’ raw edged flavours, into a rounded , sweet , very real cured tobacco vape.
As with all our ejuices , Los Colmeneros are always bottled after steeping , in this case 4 weeks for all blends in the range. If you require freshly mixed, put it in the order notes, and we’ll send you a bottle of Crianza. 🙂 . Although we’d prefer you to wait, the first four weeks don’t give enough time for the flavours to develop.
Steeping EJuice then is sometimes almost a necessity, while some blended ejuices are better with a minimal steeping time. We think it’s something to take seriously. We need to ensure vapers, our customers at any rate, are getting the best from their juices. They must have the information to make an informed choice before purchase.
New options on sale
The following juices will now be available to purchase to your own spec. All will be available either steeped, or freshly made. Freshly made juices will be mixed in batches on a Thursday or Friday, for despatch the following Monday. Steeped juices will be minimum 4 weeks steeped.
- The Count of Del Monte Cristo,
- Berry McGuigan,
- The Sultan
Additionally, 4 of these 5 juices are now available as concentrates, and if you’re really after the very freshest B-Juice, DIY mixing is the way to go. BlappleCrum is to be released in the next batch of concentrates to go on sale.
All our concentrates are standardised to be mixed at 1 part in 10, so a 10ml bottle, when mixed with 90mls of PG/VG/nicotine, will produce 100mls of ready to vape, or steep if you prefer, B-Juice.
See for Yourself
Try one of our special tester packs, 2 x 10ml bottles for £5, including delivery, containing a steeped bottle, and a fresh bottle,of either Berry McGuigan, The Sultan, The Count of Del Monte Cristo, or BlappleCrum.
£5 for 2 x 10mls B-Juice
Inlcudes ££ cashback*
Each purchase comes with a voucher for £2.50 off any 50ml bottle of ejuice.
Which version do you prefer?
*cashback issued as a £2.50 store credit for use against any juice purchase.