The steeping practice for e-liquids is basically a process or series of processes which are utilized to aid the maturation of the e-liquid. This is done until the most desirable flavour is obtained during smoking. The best flavour is often attained by extracting all the considerably harsh flavours and the blending and aging the flavours. Time will be needed in order for the flavours to diffuse into the base liquids that are being used. As the e-liquid steeps, the general coloration will begin to become darker.
This is an indication that the e-juice has reached the point of maturation. There are a few methods that may be used to steep the e-liquids.
- Time: This is one of the most common methods that are used. When the top of the bottle is left off and the air is allowed to go in, steeping will occur and the liquid will improve. The best results are achieved when the bottle is placed in an area which is both warm and dark from as long as a day to a week. The benefit of this method is that it will be obtained naturally while the time it takes is a definite disadvantage.
- Agitation: Another method of steeping e-liquid is by shaking or stirring the liquid forcefully. Time has to be allowed for the bubbles to reach to the top and then the process is repeated. This may be done as many times as possible until the goal is achieved.
- Water Bath: This method calls for the placing of the bottle into warm water for heating. The water should not be hot however. This will lessen the amount of time that is required for the aging of the liquid; while allowing for fusing and interchanging of molecules. One must bear in mind however that heat and nicotine are not conducive to one another and the nicotine will begin to degrade under immense heat.
- Microwave: This is another way that heat can be applied to the liquid. It will act in the same that the warm water does but however encourages more fusion in regards to the molecules, assumedly due to the microwaves. The top of the bottle should be removed first. Heat is not to be applied to nicotine in great amounts and therefore only one second at a time blasts should be applied to the liquid. This will get it warm but not hot. This method may be combined with leaving it in a warm place, preferably a dark one.
- Ultrasonic: This is a method which uses a combination of the vibrations of energy pulses and ultrasonic frequency. This may be done with or without the use of warm water. The results of this method have been considered to be very good and it has been reported that there is a significant reduction in time from two week durations to just one day. The addition of chemicals in this method is a work in progress as none have been reported to enhance the steeping process to date.