Shortfills and the Dark Art of Steeping

Shortfills and the Dark Art of Steeping

Here we are, you and I, vaping away on a flavour that just does it for us. It may be in a rotation with others... an evening vape; an ADV. Whatever it is, we've arrived at using it the hard way, trying loads of different things to find it.

And we've been fussy haven't we? Does it kill my coil too quickly? Does it go with a beer? Does it work in my favourite device or do I have to dig the old dripper out of the attic to enjoy it?

If you find that flavour, I do hope the maker took some time to examine the steep. After all, there's nothing worse than an unreliable flavour- something you can only vape till the steep kicks in after which it's sickly or bland.

Personally, I want to keep getting satisfaction from the flavours I'm going to the trouble of buying all the time. Apart from anything else I'm one of those vapers that sticks to a flavour for ages before switching. I was on my first mixture, Bread of Heaven, for two and a half years.

This is where steeping comes in. Before any mixture goes out, it gets the full treatment. As a manufacturer you have to know what the end point is- getting it there and knowing when it has arrived is critical.

This is particularly important with tobacco-style or complex flavours as the steep can have a massive impact on the final experience.

Which brings me to shortfills. We all love them don't we? Basically, if you vape 3, 6 or even 12mg shortfills give us what we want in 2018 at 2016 prices and in 2016 bottle sizes.

But- here's the problem. As any decent mixer knows most of the steep occurs on exposure to nicotine. It turns out nicotine itself is the biggest driver of flavour change. You can see this in colour changes actually (although only a correlate of flavour change); 3mg changes very little over time; 18mg quite a lot.

But in a shortfill, there is no nicotine. And the flavours have already been diluted in VG and PG. Basically, these are the least favourable conditions of all for steeping.

But all is not lost. If you are planning to add multiple 10ml bottles of 18mg of the same flavour to get the nicotine level you desire, bear in mind the 18mg will be steeped and this will help... it will help a lot!

Now, give it some time!

At 3 or 6mg a shortfill will need at least a week to settle- after this you will find the flavour will deepen more over time. At these strengths, even over the course of a month or more.

Be patient- and maybe build some of this waiting into your buying habits having one bottle in the post whilst one is coming out of steep. Perhaps but two 50ml shortfills rather than one 100ml- keeping one back for steeping further.

Just a thought.

Keep it somewhere warm- nothing radical. You don't want to go cooking your juice. Just above room temperature will do.

And leave those lids on! Leaving the lid off just means it's more likely to spill.

Having said that, you can speed things up by clearing the headspace in the bottle. This is how you do it: Take the lid off, blow across the top of the bottle and put the lid back.

If you're keen, do this every couple of days- otherwise, whenever you remember.

And that's it!

Remember, all Indigene's juices have been mixed to the final steep and this is what we want you to experience. So do give them the time they need to get there!

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