Due to the vast amount of different flavours on the market it can be difficult to determine which flavours need to be steeped and how long you should steep them for. It is always best to apply as much science and testing behind steeping as possible and this is why streathing is an important part of the process. There are a few general rules you can follow to help you to determine which flavours need to steep and for how long.
Some premium e-liquids come pre-steeped and this is what can warrant such a high price tag on many premium flavours as you can vape them right away and can enjoy them at an optimum taste point. On the flip side, some premium e-liquids do not come pre-steeped and these e-liquids can have a higher amount of concentrates used in the liquid, which means it needs more time for the flavours to blend together.
Creamy flavours have a tendency to require a longer a steeping time, while fruity flavours tend to steep quicker but have a higher amount of initial overpowering sharp notes. Flavours with spices, tea’s and other similar notes can take longer to blend as well. There is no real science behind this as there are several factors at play, it really boils down to testing to determine what really works. General rule of thumb though is the more concentrates used in an e-liquid the longer it will take to steep as more flavours need to homogenise. Flavours with a higher VG percentage can take longer to steep as VG has a higher viscocity than PG, therefore it takes longer for flavours to mix together due to the denser, thicker liquid.
If a flavour has a harsh or chemical taste, these can generally be eliminated by steeping for longer. Ultimately, if you like the taste of a flavour and notice no off notes, its well rounded enough and good to vape. If a flavour has any distinct chemical tastes, harshness or a flavour that shouldn’t be overpowering that seems to be overpowering the flavour, it is generally a good indicator that the flavour can yield benefits from steeping as these properties can be removed from steeping the flavour.
The colour of the liquid can also be an indicator if a flavour needs to be steeped or not. This is especially the case if the flavour contains nicotine. If the flavour contains nicotine and is quite clear, this is an indicator that the flavour can yield positive results from being steeped. Nicotine changes the colour of the e-liquid over time to a slightly more yellowy browner colour. However this rule isn’t 100% reliable as some flavours have brownish or yellowish colours in them that you can confuse for it being the nicotine blended.