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A Beginners Guide To Mixing

Discussion in 'Thailand DIY Juice Making' started by -V-, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. -V-
    Cool

    -V- Thread Starter Administrator Staff Member

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    Basic kit you need
    Minimum Ingredients
    PG, VG or PG/VG nicotine base
    PG or VG Diluent
    Flavourings

    Mixing kit
    A bottle
    1 x 10ml syringe
    1 x 5ml syringe
    Nitrile gloves
    A glass of water for rinsing
    A tissue for cleaning

    NB: In principle, it is expected that most people use PG based Nicotine for mixing. This is largely due to preference and easier availability of PG Nic base. As a result, illustrative examples will assume PG heavy juices and generally a 70/30 ratio unless stated

    VG Nic base is available as well as 50/50 PG/VG. Ultimately the decision on which to use is something that will come through preference and experience. VG Nic base will allow you to achieve a higher VG ratio to your end juice.

    Formula principle
    Each juice contains nicotine suspended in either PG or VG liquid. This is referred to as Nicotine or Nic Base. This concentrate needs to diluted down to a safe target mg/ml strength before use.
    Diluent can be non-nicotine PG or VG.

    A flavourless eliquid will contain a ratio of these.

    Flavours are generally PG based and when calculating a mix, these need to be included.

    For example, when mixing a juice which is PG heavy and uses PG Nic Base, the total of the base, the diluent and the flavours will comprise the ratio of the total PG content.
    The example below shows what constitutes a 70/30 PG/VG eliquid.
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    When mixing VG heavy liquids the actual percentage split will be influenced the amount of flavouring, and whether a VG Nic Base is used. To achieve near 100% VG liquids, VG Nic base is required. Even then, unless using VG flavouring, the mix will be more likely 5%PG / 95%VG depending on the amount of flavour added.

    Since VG flavour concentrates are rare, the most likely VG concentrate will be home steeped tobacco concentrate which is most likely to result in a 20/80 mix

    Here is an example of a VG heavy mix using home steeped tobacco concentrate.

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    Plan your preferred ratio, target strength, percentage flavouring and use a calculator to determine the actual volumes to be used.

    Preferences
    PG gives greater throat hit and flavour (probably because of PG flavourings)
    VG produces more vapour.
    VG is thicker and may not wick well in certain atomisers.
    Your personal preference and any sensitivity to either will determine your ratio.

    Strength vs diluent
    The actual ml’s that are used to create the mix will be influenced by the target strength. A 6mg eliquid will require far less Nic Base than the 18mg eliquid. Therefore the amount of PG diluent will be high for 6mg yet low for 18mg – this is because of the inherent PG being included in order to deliver the target nicotine strength.
    As a side note, volume (a 5ml vs 30ml bottle) is merely a multiplication of the base percentage split.

    Impact of flavours on mix
    Flavours are the wild card. Each flavour varies in intensity across each supplier. Learning from other’s experiences or experimenting yourself is the only way to determine the optimal percentage. Most initial flavour experiments generally assume a 10-20% use of flavours. It is worth noting that both PG and VG can has a sweet taste. Too little weak flavour may struggle to overcome the bases.

    As mentioned before, flavours are generally PG based. In a 70/30 ratio liquid at 18mg strength using 20% flavouring, the PG diluent content is likely to be only half of the VG diluent. This seems odd but this is part of the contributing “top up” towards the total 70% PG.

    An approach to experimenting is further on.

    Taste is generally subjective but going beyond 30% flavouring can result in “vaper’s tongue”.


    Thinning
    Some heavy VG juices can be thick and some people thin the liquid further to assist in wicking. Distilled water (buy from chemists not Halfords) or vodka can be used. Vodka assists with throat hit and the alcohol absorbed is miniscule. For beginners do not bother to thin. This is something that can be learnt later and will also depend on the atomiser you are using. The volumes to use are entirely subjective but up to 10% would be ok. Mix calculators allow you to factor this in.

    Another thing to note with alcoholic thinners is that these will increase throat hit. 20% of an alcoholic thinner is probably too harsh. Not just vodka can be used … rum or bourbon will act as a thinner and a flavour. Try to use spirits that are as pure as possible (35%-40% alcohol), not fortified spirits (Southern Comfort etc) which will have a higher sugar content and lead to gunked atty’s.

    An example of a thinned juice

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    Your first recipe
    There are a number of calculators that can be used including online ones at cloud9vaping.co.uk and postmodernsmoking.com. E-Juice-Me Up for Windows is simple yet allows you to experiment as well. It can be downloaded from eJuice Me Up - Best eJuice Calculator
    You can save each recipe under a file name for future reference, please note this is not compatible with Android.

    You need Framework 3.5 for it to work if you don't already have it installed. ( With thanks to @simate for the information. )
    Download Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 from Official Microsoft Download Center


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    Suggested Inventory
    Pre-prep stage. Decide your mix and throughout this process stick with it! Do not deviate.
    Save your bottles! Old juice bottles. Don’t throw them away. Clean them (very hot water ultrasonic cleaners), leave them to dry upside down. Shake any excess out but don’t worry if a few drops of water are still inside.

    So, assuming you have your Nic Base, Diluents and flavours you will need:
    Nitrile gloves to protect against spillages.
    Syringes – 1 small gauge and 1 large gauge (I use these for VG)
    2-3 pipettes or 1 per flavour
    A pot to store the syringes/pipettes when not using them.
    A flat surface to work on.
    A glass of water for pipette/syringe rinsing. When mixing pungent flavours I try to use different pipettes or at least rinse them out. This may not be important when mixing only one liquid but if you are mixing another one straight after, you may not want to get menthol in your vanilla custard.
    Tissue.

    A recipe to follow. Stick to the recipe.

    I would recommend something simple to start with. Taste is subjective and vendor liquids will have been developed and tested over time. The exact ratios of flavour needs to learnt.

    Simply mix the volumes up into your bottle.

    Done. Give it a quick shake and then leave it to steep.

    Not quite as easy as that. I would recommend making sure there are no children, cats or excitable dogs around when you are doing this.

    When mixing I use syringes to do the bulk liquids, i.e. Nic Base and diluent. For flavours and to prevent accidental flavour contamination, switch from ml’s measurement to dropper measurement and drop straight from the bottle. Some vendors supply flavours without droppers (Cupcake World) and this is where I use a pipette.

    Calculating an accurate drops per 1ml is important when dropping straight from the bottle and the general recommendation is to assume 30 drops per 1ml. Dropper tips have different diameters and therefore their payload can vary.

    To be totally accurate with either syringes or pipettes, investing in good quality tools pays off.

    Accurate glass pipettes can be sourced from ebay with markings on them. Fill with water and count the amount of drops you get to “calibrate” them.
    Accurate syringes can also be acquired, called Low Dead Space Syringes in 1ml sizes. These eliminate the need for flushing liquid that is trapped in the nose of the syringe and are particularly good for accuracy of small amounts.

    Developing your own … a practical example
    Start small. Record. These are my 2 principles.
    Flavours vary. You will never really know initially how they will taste. Do not waste valuable Nic base by mixing up 30ml of experimental flavours.
    Mix as above but make up the recipe at 1-5ml volume. Keep new flavours low, especially tobacco’s (max 5% for these initially).

    Leave the mix to steep.

    When ready test it on a dripping atty.

    If it needs a flavour nudge, adjust the recipe and add the extra oomph. Don’t go over the top.

    (If it’s just plain bad, ditch it … at least it’s not 30ml.)

    Record what you did.
    Repeat.

    With this process you will be slowly upping the PG split but it doesn’t matter. You are taste testing, adjusting and refining the mix.


    Steeping
    Time is the best. Leave the mix somewhere warm-ish and dark.
    People steep them with the caps off but with nozzles on, others leave them fully bottled. I haven't experimented but I do find cap off to be better.
    Ways of speeding this up are to leave overnight on a radiator, to use an ultrasonic cleaner, place in a warm water bath. Try not to expose the juice to too much heat since this can destroy the nicotine strength. Don't attempt using a microwave.
    Time is the best method I've found ... so far.

    Production Planning
    With mixing you are always 1 month behind if your mixes require a lot of steeping time. If you intend to live off home mixes, make sure have a month’s supply of vendor juice. It is likely it will take a month just by the process of steeping and experimentation to be able to get to a good juice you can live off. Once that is established you then have another potential month of steeping ahead of you.
    Work 1 month in advance.

    Sampling
    You need a dripping atty. A 306 is good but I would seriously recommend buying a rebuildable one such as the IGO-L and learning to make your own coils. When testing lots of juices, this makes it so much simpler to clean and ensure you have no flavour contamination.
    When wondering when to sample, there is always an urge to have a go before juice is ready. When is the juice ready? To begin with you won’t know. You will have to try it.

    I sample 24 hours later, 1 week later, 2 weeks later. Just a few drops and you will begin to see how the juice is coming on. Some flavours are a bit shy initially but soon start to grow in intensity. This ongoing sampling is really useful to get a better understanding of how the flavours behave and of your personal tastes. Long term steeping can make a poor juice amazing or a good juice dreadful. This is why constant sampling is important to find when the juice is at its best.


    *The Above was taken from a UK member on a UK Forum, Credit goes to the Member 'Ash' *

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  2. yourauntbob
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    yourauntbob hair club for men member

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  3. chris snell
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    chris snell crispenator

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    Hi all i have just down loaded a program that is very similar if not the same to the one you show V called juice me up ,started to play around with it a bit after reading your post on how to use it and bingo it works ,before i kept getting error messages about this and that but even though i have a 50/50 nic base at 36mg i can still cut down the nic to as low as 6mg or maybe even less so really all i need to get is the pg and vg ,and the bottles and somewhere to do it and flavourings hmmm this could take some time , seriously i think it would make a great hobbie and if there any good you might even be able to sell some to recover outlay.
    I m gonna have to get onto this i think,
     
  4. BuzzSamui
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    BuzzSamui Well-Known Member

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  5. chris snell
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    chris snell crispenator

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    Thanks for the link mate i didnt think there would be so many and then you have the same from different suppliers where are they located in the U.S or UK ?
     
  6. Tibo
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    Tibo French Hedonist

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    Great topic, lots of info ! Thanks folks for this
     
  7. BuzzSamui
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    BuzzSamui Well-Known Member

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    USofA
     
  8. chris snell
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    chris snell crispenator

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    Thanks mate ,just been looking at some of the ones here theres one called juice whore ,yea strange name but its for real trust me, they seem to be pretty big here ,also we have smaller guys trying to break into the market on ebay ,ive bookmarked both .
     
  9. ckapp
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    ckapp Smile!

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    Wish I lived in one place long enough to give this a whirl. I love cooking and creating, the article reads like a wine-maker process, with the steeping times... oh, but the life of a traveler... I could leave the stuff to steep while away on visa-runs though. Hmm... maybe could pull it off and have something to add to the looking fwd list.

    Thanks for posting such an illuminated article!
     
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  10. Caribou

    Caribou Well-Known Member

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    I just finished my first DIY batch using the weight method.
    It was extremely easy and I think a lot faster and more precise than using tons of pipettes and syringes, and counting drops for flavours. All you need is a precise scale (10-15$ on fasttech)

    Here is a nice guide : Botboy141 Guide to Mixing By Weight : DIY_eJuice

    Basically, start off by setting your bottle on the scale, whatever it is you want to mix into. Sometimes for me this is finished bottles, other times when I'm making larger batches, it's 250ml Amber glass bottles.

    Now your bottle is on the scale, turn your scale on, this starts your scale @ 0.00g. If you turned it on first and set your bottle on after, no big deal, just press the 'tare' button. Now, The calculator I linked above, gives you the weights you need to add for your Nicotine, VG, PG, and each flavor (once you programmed them in appropriately). I always go in order so I don't miss anything or forget my place (I also have my bottles set up in the same orderly line in my mixing space just to make sure).

    For example: I'm making a 15ml batch of my Princess Cake (fruitier version recipe). I'm using 100mg VG nicotine, and am looking for an end result of 40/60 PG/VG.

    The calculator gives me these outputs.

    I start by adding 0.556 grams of nicotine to my bottle, I round this to 0.56 as your scale likely only reads to the hundredth (at least mine does, thousandth readings on a scale will cost you ~20x the price of the scale). Then press 'tare'.

    Next I add my PG (4.476g) rounded to 4.48g. Then press 'tare'. Then VG 10.773 grams rounded to 10.77. Then press 'tare'. Then add your flavors pressing tare after each one. Before you know it, you've mixed your first bottle and have no mess to clean up.

    Congratulations, you just mixed your first batch of juice by weight.
     
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  11. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Nice! This I got to try soon.

    Sent from my MI 4LTE using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Johnyhotrocks

    Johnyhotrocks Member

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    Can anyone suggest where I can purchase a DIY mixing kit shipping free?
     
  13. lordofthedread
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    lordofthedread Professional Lurker

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    Waiting on my flavorings to land (anyday now) and I will be mixing my own too, did a few tries with capella flavors (borrowed from a friend) and that went great.

    I wish we had better / more options for flavorings in the country tho...
     
  14. Lotta

    Lotta Well-Known Member

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    +1. The current options are limited and expensive. Much like other things expect to pay a 100% "import tax" on quality flavorings if you can even find what you are looking for. Did you get Capella flavorings?
     
  15. lordofthedread
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    lordofthedread Professional Lurker

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    I placed an order on http://www.diyflavorz.com/, still waiting on delivery tho.

    They stock capella flavorings but the choice is kinda limited and the prices are what they are....

    Don't really know if that would be worth it to order from abroad in larger quantities but I am considering it.
     
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