My last post here before this one was back in October 2018. I would post on reddit but the vaping community there has recently left a sour taste in my mouth. Probably just me, but just the same…
At any rate, I have tried many things to quick steep. A lot of people try a hot water bath or sand in a crock pot. Those methods work to some degree but the end result still isn’t as good as it would be after a proper steep. I have had access to an ultrasonic homogenizer (a sonicator) with some success. However, that piece of equipment is mostly out of reach for most people and not worth it to be honest. I don’t care how good it makes the juice, I wouldn’t buy one. They are LOUD and pretty expensive.
So what happens during steeping? Why does the hot water/sand/microwave seem to work less well than time?
My theory is that heat has nothing/little to do with the steeping process unless the necessary conditions are already met, in which case, it would speed up the process. But in a closed container in which the juice is close to the top, the condition can not be met easily enough! If the conditions are not met, heating will not do much.
The molecules that makeup the different favoring agents need to come into contact with atmospheric oxygen. As many of the molecules as possible. As you can imagine, only the top layer of juice is in contact with air unless the bottle is shaken.
So, before I start typing a wall of text about chemistry, here’s what I did. Most of you could try this right now without having to buy anything that you don’t already have. You just need a 20ml or larger syringe, an end cap for the syringe (that screws on in place of the needle) and regular wicking cotton. Use these types of clean cotton instead of drugstore cotton balls. If using regular cotton balls, you can boil them and let them air dry before using.
Take plunger out of the syringe and screw on the cap. Get a small amount of cotton and drop it loosely int the syringe. About the amount of cotton you would use for two or three wicks. You don’t want it small enough to plug the syringe by falling all the way into the outlet but you don’t want it so thick that you can’t move the plunger.
Get another syringe (or whatever you would use) and put about 1ml or 2ml of VG into bottom end of the syringe, put the plunger in place, tip it upright (point up) and take off the cap. Push the plunger in until it barely meets the cotton. Now, with syringe sill pointed up, move the plunger in and out until the cotton is nice and wet with VG. Now, push the plunger all the way in and squeeze out as much VG as you can. Just press normally, no need to squeeze the crap out of it.
Remove plunger and replace end cap. Make sure cotton (should be a somewhat flat disk at this time) is at the point end. I like to squeeze it pretty hard but it isn’t necessary. Load your juice into the bottom of the syringe,
Now you know what to do. If your juice comes out frothy and/or milky looking, you have done it correctly. You have successfully made a huge amount of the juice come into contact with the air. The larger the syringe, the easier it will be to push in the plunger because you have more leverage. I had a 50ml syringe that worked very well. I wouldn’t use a glass syringe, the amount of force needed may break it.
You can tap the bottle of milky juice gently on the counter to make all of that air travel to the surface (it won’t really work too well) or wait. Or you can just try it like that. Won’t make a difference. I have tried it after waiting versus while milky and it didn’t make a difference. I haven’t tried repeating the process multiple times; seemed unnecessary. It might make a difference but I have no idea.
I am going to cut a hole in the bottom of a clear plastic cup so I can use it as a syringe stand. I will mix my juice directly into a syringe that has already been prepared with the cotton. Assemble the recipe, shake a couple times and squeeze it out. Voila! I have a graduated mixing vessel.
I would like to hear the opinion of someone else who is going to/has tried this. I feel that it works wonders and have done it this way for the last few bottles I have made, but I may be biased.