If the liquid leaves something to be desired in terms of taste, it should be allowed to mature. To do this, you have various techniques at your disposal, which are summarized under the generic term of steeping. Find out about the different methods to do this and what it brings.
Why does the liquid not taste as expected?
A liquid does not always correspond to personal taste perception. The vanilla aroma is not intense enough, the menthol note scratches the throat and the berry aromas taste a little dusty. This is due to the fact that the liquids are freshly prepared by the retailer and shortly afterwards they are on their way to the customer. This means that the different ingredients no longer have time to combine into a harmonious bouquet. This is not surprising, as the liquids are mainly made up of the three substances glycerine, proplenglycol and water. These are all liquids that are not exactly considered to be reagents. However, it would be wrong to immediately write off the Liquid or dealer and try the next variety. As with all flavors, the flavors contained in a liquid need time and an optimal environment to develop their intensity. The good news is that there is something you can do to help the flavors develop and achieve an optimal taste experience for you.
What is maceration?
Even a wine needs to mature for several years to develop the desired aroma. In the meantime, many retailers explicitly advise letting a Liquid mature. The technical term for this is steeping, which means “letting it ripen”. A Liquid that has been allowed to mature for a few days or weeks has a completely different taste than a substance that has just arrived in a store. In addition to a different aroma, the color is often different and many liquids become darker as a result of steeping. Dark coloring doesn’t have to be a headache for you, with some liquids like watermelon or vanilla, it is even characteristic. You can compare it to the bananas you bring back from the sunny yellow supermarket. After a few days, brownish spots form, which intensify the taste of the fruit. By soaking, you can even adapt the aroma of a liquid to your needs, for which you have various possibilities at your disposal.
How does the ripening of a liquid work?
In order for a liquid to develop its full aroma, its components, reacting to rot, must mix well. Unfortunately, it is not enough to simply shake the liquid firmly. Because glycerin, propene glycol and water have different viscosities, which means they are different liquids. Therefore, it takes time for a liquid to mature. Another factor is flavor. Proplengylcol is what is called a flavor carrier. This means that the aroma molecules bind to the proplengylcol carrier molecules, which also takes patience. There are several ways to speed up the soaking process, which means that the molecules in the liquid are set into vibration. All of these dipping techniques can be easily done at home.
What do I need to know about the agitation method for maturing liquids?
To ripen a liquid with the shaking method, the bottle is shaken at regular intervals. It is important to keep liquids away from sunlight and excessive heat. In addition to shaking, ventilation is also necessary so that the aromas can develop properly. Simply add oxygen to the liquid for a few minutes every few days. The question of how long to shake and aerate liquids cannot be answered in general terms. The implementation of the method depends on the development of the favoured aroma. As a general rule, it is recommended to use the technique between two and four weeks. Tobacco liquids or dessert and chocolate flavours almost always take the same amount of time to develop sufficiently. Fruit aromas develop their intensity more quickly and can even lose their flavour if shaken and aerated for too long.
How does heat affect the aromas of the liquid?
If you want to be unpretentious, you can simply store your liquids in the glove box for several hours in the summer and on the radiator in the winter. However, the procedure should not be prolonged too long, because the aroma molecules will decompose if the heat effect is too long. You can also go to the water bath. In a pan with hot, but not boiling water, place the bottle of liquid wrapped in plastic for about 15 minutes. Then you have to test whether you like the aroma or whether you should put the liquid in the water bath for a few more minutes. The microwave method is the difference between the two. Although the boiling point of a liquid is about 200 degrees, small plastic bottles melt at 100 degrees. It is therefore recommended to heat the uncooked rice grains in the microwave and to stick the bottles in them for a quarter of an hour. This process can also be repeated. Connoisseurs heat their liquids in an ultrasonic bath, as is also offered for cleaning glasses. Because of the vibrations, the liquid heats up much more moderately than with other methods, which protects the aromatic molecules.
Liquids are always worth ripening when a variety still lacks that certain something. There is no patent solution for the methods presented, just try what works best for you.