Juice Steeping vs. Juice Breathing

Posted by Auster Vape Co. on

Sometimes, what you first taste isn’t exactly what you get—especially
in terms of e-liquids. Like a fine wine, aging a particular flavor
can cause it to transform. In regards to e-juice, that process
can be called “steeping” or “breathing,” and you can use it any time
the initial flavor test isn’t up to your standards. Both processes rely
on time for all the ingredients and flavorings to properly homogenize
in the bottle, but there are some important distinctions.

Steeping involves keeping your bottle tightly sealed and in a dark,
cool place (i.e. in a cupboard or drawer) for extended periods of time,
ranging from two weeks to two months. The steeping process allows
all of the separate flavors and ingredients in the e-juice to settle
and blend with each other. The idea is similar to combining a jar of
red sand and a jar of blue sand: you would have to shake it until it was
a consistent color throughout. Steeping is even simpler since it is a
liquid—you really just set it and forget it. An optional step is to shake
the bottle vigorously and place it back in the dark spot to steep.

Some people choose to “quick-steep” using heat, which is
a controversial method. (It’s debatable whether it really works or not.)
Quick-steeping is often performed by placing the e-juice bottles into
a simmering pot of water for 15 minutes. While there is a proven physical
change (the e-juice will get darker, because nicotine darkens as it oxidizes)
it’s not clear how effective it is compared to general steeping. Either way,
quick steeping has become a staple habit for many vapers.

Lastly, “breathing” e-liquid is when you leave the juice bottle
open to purposely oxidize the nicotine. When nicotine oxidizes,
it turns the e-juice a darker shade of tan or brown and gives it a far
more muted flavor. While it sounds ridiculous to want
less flavor, it’s
incredibly helpful for juices that are too harsh (i.e. citrus flavors, poor
nicotine quality or aromatic flavors). With e-liquids that seem almost
noxiously perfume-y and stuffy, the best way to improve it is through
breathing. This process is the exact same as steeping, but just take the
cap off and limit yourself to a maximum of 24 hours at a time. Otherwise,
you will end up over-oxidizing the nicotine and the juice will taste strange.

Some e-liquids are perfect right off the bat; all of our e-liquids
generally do not require any steeping time, as they’ve been pre-steeped
either by our collaborators or in-house (for our own lines). Others might
require a little work. Whether you choose to steep or breathe your e-liquid
depends on the particular flavor and your personal taste. But once you’ve
experimented with steeping and breathing and mastered the techniques,
you’ll have two more tools to help create your ideal vaping experience.


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