By now, most vapers understand the importance of properly steeping an e-liquid. This process, for those who don’t know, refers to storing a vape juice in a controlled environment to allow the oxidization process to help the flavor and nicotine hit improve. Most often, this process is done by placing a sealed bottle in a cool, dark and dry environment, as light, heat and humidity can degrade the molecules in a negative way.
Steeping a vape juice is much like aging a bottle of wine, beer or whiskey. Aging these products typically results in a smoother, richer, and darker flavor that’s extremely appealing. This is the goal when we steep an e-liquid.
Two Ways of Steeping
Steeping happens in two ways: pre-steeping and post-steeping.
“Pre-steeping” means that the company that made the e-liquid steeped a bottle of vape juice before it ended up in your hands. A lot of companies put their e-juices through a steeping process so that the customer doesn’t have to.
Of course, buying a pre-steeped vape juice offers a good deal of convenience, as you no longer have to do the work and worry about making sure that every aspect of the environment is just right. After all, sometimes, steeping can go wrong, and actually work against you by degrading the flavor, the nicotine or both, if all of the components aren’t just right. The right company will use expert techniques to steep it in the best way possible.
And, by purchasing a pre-steeped e-liquid, you can get to vaping it right away. Proper steeping can take up to two weeks, and a lot of vapers understandably don’t want to wait that long in order to start enjoying the new flavor that they have selected.
Buying a pre-steeped e-juice requires a certain level of trust from the customer. Companies can’t really prove that their vape juices have been steeped, and so you have to take their word for it. And, some companies may use cheap, fast steeping methods that don’t actually yield a better product.
Another potential con is that a pre-steeped e-juice that has been sitting on the shelf for a while is more likely to go “bad” in a short period of time, with a disappointingly bland flavor that results from over-oxidization.
“Post-steeping” means that you, the customer, steep your bottle of e-liquid after purchasing it, as the company has not done a steeping process. After all, not companies have the time, resources or basic desire to pre-steep all of their e-liquids before selling them to customers.
By steeping an e-liquid yourself, you have complete control over the process, and don’t have to rely on a company to do it properly, let alone do it at all. Some vapers have developed a specific steeping process that’s unique, and results in the most satisfying vapes according to their highly specific needs. This is why so many people choose post-steeping over buying pre-steeped juices. There are various steeping methods out there, and many vapers are extremely particular about which method is used.
Post-steeping does have some drawbacks. One obvious one is that it requires effort on the vaper’s part. Steeping is not the most difficult process in the world by any means, but it still involves work that not all vapers are willing to put into their vaping hobby.
Also, with post-steeping, there is always the risk of messing things up and ending up with a vape juice that has aged poorly because of improper environmental factors. This could lead to wasted e-liquid and wasted money.
Furthermore, steeping e-liquid on your own requires time. We said that steeping can take up to two weeks. So, you have to get your timing right to always have a rotation of steeped e-liquids ready to go, so that you can afford to wait until each batch has steeped fully.
Finally, steeping yourself requires some level of storage that not all vapers have. This is because you need to maintain a rotation of bottles to allow each purchase to complete the steeping process.
Which is Better?
So, is it better to buy pre-steeped vapes, or do it yourself? Well, there’s no right answer. It all depends on your needs as a vaper, and how involved you want to be in the steeping process.
It’s clear that both pre-steeping and post-steeping have their advantages and disadvantages. We’re not here to tell you that one is better than the other, because again, each vaper’s needs and preferences are unique. Therefore, we encourage you to weigh the pros and cons of each to decide which you desire for a more satisfying vape overall.