Mixing your own liquid is a rather simple process. Trial and error are almost always required to getting exactly what you’re looking for in your mixtures.
“’Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try, try again.
If at first, you don’t succeed,
Try, try, try again”
– William Edward Hickson
E-liquids are generally mixed up in one of the following strengths, depending on your preference:
- 0mg (no-nic)
- 8mg (low)
- 16mg (medium)
- 24mg (high)
Depending on the components that you have available, any nicotine strength can be achieved through DIY.
Flavor is subjective. On the whole, most liquids will taste similar to each person, as food does, but ones taste is not always compatible with others. This is where the challenge comes in.
You want to identify what flavor(s) you like, and what percentage of flavoring suits you. Focus on your own taste first. Once you feel like you have a good mixture, introduce it to fellow vapers to get their feedback. Having others opinions can help you improve your skills.
There are thousands of individual flavors on the market, and infinite combinations. It is best practice as a beginner to understand your flavors. How it smells, I find is often how it tastes. Some flavors are light,some are dense, and some are sharp. A smell test of each individual flavor will give you a general idea of it’s potency.
As an example, Tiramisu flavoring, if you have a 30ml bottle and uncap it, inhale the fumes, it is extremely strong smelling. This flavoring is often used at only 1% of your entire mixture. So if you have
100ml of PG/VG and/or nicotine, only 1ml of that entire mixture will be flavored by the Tiramisu flavoring. On the other hand, Whipped Cream is extremely light in smell, almost unnoticeable. You may need to use this flavoring at 40-50% to get a comparable flavor strength that you would from the Tiramisu. So in the same example of the 100ml batch of e-liquid, 40-50ml of that batch would need to be the Whipped Cream Flavoring.
These weaker flavorings are generally mixers. You will add them to your flavor mix to create your blend.
A blend is when you use multiple flavors to create a complete flavor profile. An example of a blend might be, Pie Crust, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Apple, Cinnamon Spice to create an Apple Pie a la mode blend.
When testing out your flavors, it is highly recommended to exclude your nicotine (if any) from the samples, and work with only PG and/or VG and flavoring. It is highly advised to mix small batches. 1-3ml sample batches are ideal for testing.
Keep in mind, sample batches will not give you a true idea of the mixtures overall feel (i.e. throat hit), but you will get a near true idea of the flavor of your final mixture.
There is no formula to reference as a guide to flavor percentages, however, many DIY’ers have taken most of the guesswork out and posted suggested percentages for many of the flavorings throughout the web. These are not definitive numbers, but they will get you in the ballpark. Taste being subjective.
One thing that will influence your flavor strength is your VG content of your batch. VG is not an ideal flavor carrier, which is why most flavoring comes in a PG or Ethyl Alcohol base. There are a limited number of flavors which have a high VG content, but they are not very common at this time.
If you have been vaping e-liquids that have a high VG content, you might need to use more flavoring then what others have determined the recommended percentage.
The software is a little overwhelming when you first use it, but it is easily understood as you work with it. Each of the fields will make an impact on the calculations.
The image below shows a sample of a recipe. The sample gives you the calculations to mix up a 3ml sample batch of 8mg Baked Cinnamon Roll flavored e-liquid with a ratio of 85% PG and 15% VG using 10% flavoring
In this example, we are using the following liquid components:
36mg 100% PG Flavor-It-Yourself e-liquid
Propylene Glycol USP/Kosher Dilution Base
Vegetable Glycerin USP/Kosher Dilution Base
One Stop Flavors Baked Cinnamon Roll
Based on our example, the fields in the calculator are as follows:
Left Section (where the individual components are detailed as well as your target PG/VG ratio) –
- Nicotine Strength e-Juice – This is the strength and PG/VG blend of nicotine.
Target Nicotine Strength – This is the strength of nicotine you want your final mixture to be.
- Amount to Make – This is the amount of finished flavored e-liquid that you are wanting to make.
- Water/Vodka/PGA – An area where you can add in percentages of Distilled Water, Vodka or
- Pure Grain Alcohol.
Flav 1 – A single flavoring, the type of flavor carrier and at what percentage, followed by the percentage of that particular flavor that you want to include in your mixture.
Flav 2-7 – See Flav 1.
- Target PG % and VG % is what your ratios for the final mixture will be
Right Section (the recipe – flavors, nicotine base, dilution base liquids, Water/Vodka/PGA additions)
These fields show you the components that are required to create the final mixture with their exact measurements.At this point, it would be helpful to print out this recipe, or carefully write it down to bring over to your workspace.
A clean workspace is necessary. Remove any unnecessary materials and set your workspace up away from children and animals. Lay some newspaper or a placemat down on a flat surface to catch any drips or spills and start setting up your workspace with your components, empty bottles and measuring equipment.
A syringe with a blunt tip needle is highly recommended for measuring. They are inexpensive and reusable. It is always good to have multiple syringes and blunt tip needles on hand as you do not want to cross contaminate your individual flavors and liquids. Graduated cylinders are also very useful once larger batches are ready to be mixed. Carefully measure out each of the components and transfer them into your empty bottle using the syringe.
It is very important to keep each of the components free from the influence of one another. It is best practice to use clean or individual measuring equipment that is clearly marked for their intended liquid.
Once you have all of your components in your bottle, carefully place on the cap and shake the mixture until it is well blended.
Your e-liquid is now finished and ready to vape. There is a caveat. Not all e-liquids taste to their full potential until they have rested. This resting period has been commonly referred to as “steeping. Most mixtures will reach their full potential after they have steeped for 24 hours, some taking as long as 14 days. As a general rule, tobacco flavored e-liquids will take longer to steep.
At this time, you may want to tweak your recipe and mix up several different batches with higher or lower flavoring percentages. Label your mixtures directly on the bottle or place them in a zip-lock bagwith a piece of paper to denote the flavoring percentage. You may find that 10% Baked Cinnamon Roll for example, is too much flavoring, and you prefer a batch that you mixed with 5% flavoring.
- Work in small batches (i.e. 1-3ml)
- Save your nicotine for your final mixture once you have determined the flavoring percentages.
- Always keep a clean and tidy workspace.
Work in an area that is free of children and/or animals.
- Document your findings, good and bad. (i.e. 10% Baked Cinnamon Roll is too strong, 5% is just right)
- Clean measuring equipment after each mixing session.
- Wear protective gear when mixing (i.e. protective eyewear, nitrile gloves, apron, or whatever else you feel necessary to keep the components from coming in contact with your skin)
- Clearly label all of your experiments.
- Clean up the workspace once the mixing session is over.
Store all of your e-liquid away from children and/or animals such as a lockbox.