How best to protect and organise your flavours
If you’re anything like me you just can’t help yourself. Try as you might, the postman keeps dropping off packages, sometimes weekly, sometimes bi-monthly. Once it becomes twice weekly I’m checking myself into FA – Flavours Anonymous.
Obviously buying lots of flavours gets expensive, and as such, we need to protect and organise our investment. Let’s look at some common and not so common methods.
How long do flavours last?
According to discussions I’ve had with Capella, TFA, Flavorah and a flavorist (chemist), flavours are okay in the original plastic bottles for around 3 to 6 months. However, a number of variables come into play. Temperature, humidity, exposure to light and how often one opens the bottles.
Most, including myself, have used flavours that are a year old, and I’ve noticed that whilst at times it’s subtle, the flavours will change to some degree. I have yet to determine with any certainty what flavour groups are affected most, but I can tell you I’ve noticed a number of additives such as FA’s Oak Wood, TFA’s Sour, Koolada and AP do suffer from the above variables. I’ve also experienced changes to fruits and nuts, such as mango, pineapple, blackberry and coconuts. Dairy can suffer too.
These changes are not necessarily bad and they’re still usable, they just lose some balance and or can instil a slight off note; perhaps more so with fruits, however, If you’re not concerned keep them.
Glass not plastic
If you plan to keep your flavours long-term, it’s best to transfer your concentrates to glass bottles, with glass droppers too. At the very least, consider glass for your most essential favourite flavours.
Glass is also preferable if you plan on storing your flavours in the fridge, and due to the natural breathing-leaking of plastic, flavours maintain their integrity better.
High or Varying Temperature
If the temperature where you store your flavours goes beyond 30 degrees (86 deg F) you should look at various methods to keep them at a lower and more stable temperature. This also applies to fairly drastic temperature changes. Flavours, as with wines and olive oils, prefer a more stable environment; again, without direct light and heat.
Grab yourself a wine cooler and keep them at a near perfect temperature of 18 degrees (64 F). You can pick one up for $100, so they’re worth the expense when your inventory is over 100 or so. This way, they should last at least a few years. True, an extreme solution, but this is how I store all my flavours. IMHO, most fridges are a tad too cold.
An Esky – cooler can work well too. An Esky, with or without ice, depending on temp extremes is suitable too. I’ve used one numerous times when temps get above 30 deg. (86 F). I simply put some flat plastic ice mats in the bottom, place an old rag or thin piece of wood on top, and place 2 nail polish racks inside and keep the lid closed. Mine is the Willow 25 ltr version.
See our post on Steeping and Storing e-liquids.
If your flavours are in a nail polish rack, shelf or open space, that’s fine, given the temp is okay. However, when placing them in a fridge and or any type of enclosure such as a box, you should keep similar profiles together, especially if you keep them in plastic bottles.
I’ve you plan on using the fridge, use Tupperware type containers (I do this with my wine cooler too) and try and keep all your flavour types somewhat separate –
- Tobaccos, alcohols and stronger or darker Additives
- Most Desserts and Dairy can group together, like Vanilla, Custards and Ice Creams
- Bakery flavours I tend to separate, but okay with Dessert and Dairy.
- Fruits and lighter Additives.
Some flavours can crystallise in the refrigerator and or extreme cold, so keep these in a dark cupboard or drawer.
Koolada, Acetyl Pyrazine, Sweeteners and Malted Milk by TPA. I am uncertain about FlavourArts Polar Blast, but best be safe and add this too. Once again, glass is far preferable for either long-term storage or for keeping flavours in the fridge.