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DIY - Vape Juice
Making your own e-liquid is fun for more and more vapers. Some even turn it into a real hobby, always looking for that ultimate taste. Our shop www.electronic-cigarette.ie gives you many opportunities to experiment yourself in creating new aromatic flavor mixes. The advantage of DIY-VAPE is also savings. Once you start making e-liquid yourself, you'll quickly see that the savings can be really significant.
Everything you need to know before you start DIY-VAPE
If you're new to making your own e-liquids, I assume you already know a thing or two about this, but let's start at the beginning just in case.
First, let's see what we're really talking about. The composition of the e-liquid that can be vaporized is important for health, so it is worth knowing that e-juices consist of the following ingredients:
- Base: propylene glycol (PG);
- Base: Vegetable Glycerin (VG);
- One or more aromas;
- possibly nicotine;
- Optionally distilled water;
- Possibly other additives such as sweetener, colorant, menthol, and so on.
All these components in our vape shop are available separately. You can also order any base composition, e.g. 50vg : 50PG or 70VG : 30PG etc., or pre-mixed flavors according to your recommendation. In this case, making e-liquid yourself is quick and easy.
The PG/VG . ratio
The ratio between PG and VG is important when making your own e-liquid. Below is an overview of the different properties:
- Less vapor
- Stronger throat hit
- Stronger taste, good binding with aromas
- Not sweet
- Thinner liquid
- Can sometimes cause an allergic reaction
- More vapor
- Softer throat hit
- Less strong taste, moderate binding to aromas
- something sweet
- Thicker liquid
- Does not cause an allergic reaction
A few things to keep in mind:
- flavor strength; a higher VG content requires a higher aroma percentage;
- vapor production; a higher VG content gives a thicker and larger amount of vapour;
- Viscosity¹; a higher VG content gives a thicker liquid;
- PG allergy; in the case of allergy to PG, a high VG level is a necessity rather than a choice.
Not every vaporizer can handle thick e-liquid. Due to the viscosity, the transport of the e-liquid to the wick material can go too slowly, resulting in a dry hit.
Three things are important when choosing the right amount of nicotine:
- Personal preferences, such as the sensation in the throat when inhaling. It is stronger at higher nicotine levels. However, higher levels of nicotine negatively affect the taste.
- Clearomizer type where simple standard tanks provide less nicotine release compared to a high end Rebuildable Tank Atomizer (RTA) or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer (RDA)
- Inhalation technique. When you are a fan of MTL (mouth to lung), like smoking a tobacco cigarette, the amount of vapor, and therefore nicotine, is limited to the amount you can collect in your mouth on a puff. Thanks to the DL (Direct Lung) technique, you can absorb a much larger amount of vapor in one go, and thus also nicotine.
Some personal examples for clarification:
Standard clearomizer: My nicotine level in this is 7 to 9 mg/ml (MTL technique).
High-End RTA: My nicotine level in this is 5 to 6 mg/ml (MTL technique).
High-End RDA: My nicotine level on this is 2 to 3 mg/ml (DL technique).
The range indicated above for the tank type relates to liquid components. Some e-liquids give a stronger hit to the throat, while others are gentler.
Distilled water can be added to make the e-liquid thinner without using more PG. This is recommended, for example, if you are allergic to PG, or if you are using a high level of VG which makes the e-liquid too thick to use in a vaporizer. The solution then is to add distilled water.
However, this will not positively affect the taste. Rather negative, although with a small amount of distilled water (up to 15%) and using only pure VG (99.8%) it is not so bad. The percentage of aroma will have to be increased in this composition
Flavors for self-preparation of the e-liquid
With the right aroma, mixing liquids is easy and uncomplicated. To do this, just add the aroma to the base and shake it well. To find the optimal mixing ratio, follow the manufacturer's instructions and start from the bottom. To increase the intensity of the taste, the dose can be slightly increased at any time by adding a few more drops of aroma to the mixture.
Aromas for e-liquids are available in many flavor categories. With us you will find a wide range of the highest quality food flavors. We offer flavors such as: fruity, refreshing, sweet or tart, classic or extravagant - everyone will find something for themselves.
In addition to many standard flavors such as cherry, vanilla or tobacco, complex compositions are also available that are perfectly coordinated. By combining several aromas, you can create your own unique e-liquid or improve known recipes. Of course, everything depends on your imagination and your tastes.
Thanks to the Nic-shots available in our Vapie Shop, you can independently influence the nicotine strength in the e-liquid and adjust it to your personal needs. All nicotine shots and flavors meet the highest standards and can be dispensed cleanly and easily.
The dosage of the flavors varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but is mostly down to personal taste. Depending on whether you prefer more advanced or subtle taste sensations, in our store you will certainly find everything you need.
At the beginning, create a few mixtures experimentally in small quantities and after 2-3 days check if the effect meets your expectations. Depending on the aroma, it may take 1 to 2 weeks for the flavor to fully develop. You can get interesting effects here, rarely seen in ready-made liquids. It will certainly give you a lot of satisfaction, because you will develop your own quality standards, but you will also save a lot of money.
Whether a homemade e-liquid will meet your expectations depends on a good flavor concentrate. We recommend the flavors of the Irish company Eirhorse, which offers a very rich and high-quality palette of flavors.
I recommend using additives such as sweeteners or cooling agents with caution at the beginning. Adding additives isn't really necessary, but it can offer a little extra for some formulations, making e-liquid perfect for you. Light sweet, heavy sweet, cooling, menthol, even creamier, turquoise color and so on.
Make your own e-liquid - Tools, tips, hygiene and safety
Good tools are half the battle. This certainly applies to self-produced e-liquid as well. Some tools are redundant for some, and an absolute necessity for others. With the list of tools below, I'm not saying that having it all is absolutely necessary. I recommend it because it makes certain activities much easier, more hygienic and safer.
Most used tools:
Software – To do all the calculations, save your recipes, keep track of your stocks, create batches, keep notes, print your recipes and so on. Personally, I use Juice Grinder including the commercial add-on for inventory tracking, cost calculation and batch creation.
Vinyl gloves – I personally find hygiene and safety very important when making e-liquid. Wearing vinyl gloves protects hands from spilling base with nicotine. High concentrations of nicotine on the skin is dangerous and harmful. It also protects you against bacteria that may be on your hands and that could end up in the e-liquid.
Mouth protection – With regard to hygiene, a mouth/nose protection is also recommended. Especially if you sometimes make e-liquids for family, friends and acquaintances. Suppose you have a cold and you suddenly have to sneeze while mixing an e-liquid intended for one of your friends. Needs no further explanation right?!
Plastic writing pad - Handy to work on and can also be easily cleaned afterwards.
Kitchen Wipes – To quickly remove spills. Something can always go wrong and at such a moment you are extremely happy when a role is within reach.
Measuring cup set – Measuring cups can be very useful for making larger quantities. The opening at the top is large enough so that the liquids can be added easily. You can also use a mini mixer with a large opening to mix the e-liquid well after adding all the ingredients. However, this method entails that it must be poured from the measuring cup into bottles with the risk of spilling. Mixing directly in the bottle for final use is preferable in my opinion.
Mini funnel – For example for pouring from a measuring cup to the final bottle for use. A 10 ml, 20 ml or 30 ml blunt needle large bore syringe can also be used for this purpose. Especially with thicker e-liquids (high VG content), the passage of a mini funnel is often too small.
Syringes – Different sizes of syringes (with blunt needles) are necessary for mixing the aromas, base, nicotine and any additives. Not all liquids come in bottles with a handy dropper. I personally use 1ml, 2.5ml, 5ml, 10ml and 20ml.
Rubbing alcohol – For cleaning the needles, for example. Although ethanol and isopropanol alcohol between 90% and 70% are intermediate level disinfectants, they only concern our home e-liquid brewery. Enjoying a hobby, but also keep an eye on limiting some risks, such as the use of contaminated needles, for example.
Mini mixer – If you prepare the e-liquid in a measuring cup, the opening at the top is usually large enough to use a mini mixer. After adding all the ingredients, you can stir / mix the e-liquid well with a mini mixer. With this you achieve the same thing within a minute as with manually shaking the bottle for 10 minutes.
Weighing scale (precision balance) – Personally, I find the mixing method based on weight the most accurate and most convenient way to make your own e-liquid. The software program Juice Grinder shows on the basis of a number of standard parameters, such as the specific gravity of a liquid or aroma, how many percent corresponds to how many milliliters and also converts this to the number of grams. The scale must be able to measure to the nearest 1/100 gram. Personally, I use a precision balance scale 350g x 0.01g.
Empty bottles – Available in different sizes and quality. LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene), HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and glass. The plastic bottles are easy to use due to the dropper and flexibility so that you can press it. Glass is better for e-liquid if you want to keep it longer. However, they are equipped with a dropper. Very useful for use with an RDA but inconvenient for filling an RTA or a clearomizer.
Labels – Of course this is not necessary, but it is useful if you make multiple flavors of e-liquids with different PG/VG ratios and possibly also different nicotine levels. You can then read on the bottle at all times what is in it, what the PG/VG ratio is and the possible amount of nicotine. If you want to take it to an even higher level, you can purchase a small label printer.
Other tools and steeping
It may seem like a lot, but in the end it all works out. None of the aids mentioned are difficult to obtain and/or cost a lot of money. In addition, it is also so recouped. Making your own e-liquid requires good preparation, various tools and some knowledge, just like for almost any other hobby.
What we must not forget is a clean working environment. We are of course not talking about a sterile room, but a 'normal' clean workplace out of the reach of any small children and pets.
I have not mentioned tools for quickly steeping e-liquids above. I personally have little experience with that. If you make the e-liquid on time, it can also mature without using such aids.
Make your own e-liquid quickly and easily
We are going to start with an example for the easiest and fastest way to make e-liquid yourself. If you have never made an e-liquid yourself before, this may be a method to start with.
We assume that you are in possession of, for example, 1 bottle of aroma of 10 ml and 1 bottle of base liquid of 100 ml with the desired ratio PG/VG and the desired amount of nicotine. For example, the recommended mix percentage for the aroma is 10%. We look at what we have to do to make 1 bottle of 10 ml and 1 bottle of 30 ml e-liquid using syringes.
For the sake of clarity, we write it down again in simplified form below and then mix the e-liquid according to the calculation:
What we bought:
1 bottle of 10 ml aroma, recommended mix percentage = 10%
1 bottle 100 ml base, PG/VG/water = 55/35/10, nicotine = 6 mg/ml
To make e-liquid:
1 bottle of 10 ml and 1 bottle of 30 ml
Always shake an aroma and a base well before use!
The calculation and mix for the 10 ml bottle
- Aroma: 10% of 10ml = 1ml
- We suck up 1 ml of aroma with a syringe and put this in the empty 10 ml bottle
- Base: In this case is the remaining 9 ml
- We suck up 9 ml base with a syringe and add this to the 1 ml aroma in the 10 ml bottle
The calculation and mix for the 30 ml bottle:
- Aroma: 10% of 30ml = 3ml
- We suck up 3 ml of aroma with a syringe and put this in the empty bottle of 30 ml
- Base: In this case is the remaining 27 ml
- We suck up 27 ml of base with a syringe and add this to the 3 ml aroma in the 30 ml bottle
Finish the whole thing
Put caps on the bottles, stick a label on them, shake well and store in a dark place at room temperature. And of course always keep out of the reach of small children and pets. Follow the indicated steeping time for this recipe. If it happens to be a 'Shake & Vape' recipe, you can immediately vaporize the e-liquid after shaking it well.
Pretty simple isn't it? Some e-liquid suppliers also sell the pre-mixed aromas. This means that 1 bottle of aroma actually contains a mix of several aromas. Mixed in the right amounts to represent one of their flavors from their ready-to-use e-liquid lines. Using this method you can make your own mix of this flavor relatively easily. Often at a much more favorable price compared to ready-made e-liquid.
Recreating an advanced e-liquid recipe
Now that we've learned how to easily make your own e-liquid, it's time for the more advanced work. We are going to imitate a complex e-liquid using software and other tools such as the scale.
For this example we work with the very accurate 'mix by weight' method. Given the amount of VG that we are going to use in this example, this is more of an e-liquid intended for vaping in a Sub-Ohm RTA or RDA. But you can adjust the ratios of PG/VG and nicotine content to your liking.
Aroma brand- Aroma flavor -Mix percentage:
- Inawera - MRaspberry Concentrat 0.5%
- FlavourArt - Fuji 1%
- FlavourArt - Cookie 2%
- FlavourArt - Meringue 1%
- FlavourArt - Fresh Cream 0.5%
- FlavourArt - Almond 1,5 %
- FlavourArt - Torrone 0.25%
- The Flavor - NApprentice Bavarian Cream 1%
- Flavor West -Yellow Cake 1%
- The Flavor Apprentice - Acetyl Pyrazine 0.5%
Flavors and additives from different suppliers come in different packaging. Some suppliers deliver with a dropper, some don't. This means that we will soon have to use syringes for the aromas without a dropper when mixing.
Available basic ingredients as separate components:
- Base nicotine: PG/VG = 50/50, nicotine 4.8% or 48 mg/ml
- Base PG: 100% USP
- Base VG: 99.8% USP
To make e-liquid:
- Quantity: 30ml
- Nicotine content: 3 mg/ml
- PG/VG ratio: 30/70
Enter the data into the software program
First enter the basic ingredients and the e-liquid properties to be made:
Before the software program can calculate the correct amounts of everything, we must first make the specific gravity of the different liquids and aromas known to the software program. You can do this by using the known data of the liquid in question (Wikipedia offers a solution). I calculated it myself for the nicotine base and the aromas. You can also weigh a milliliter of each ingredient to arrive at a precision of a few decimal places. But hey, how far do you have to go with this? You really can't taste that anymore.
Specific gravity of PG, VG, nicotine, water and the flavors:
PG = 1.036 and VG = 1.261. For the nicotine base I calculated it based on a PG/VG ratio of 50/50. And so on.
The aromas with their base and mix percentages
Then we enter the aromas with their mix percentage and their base. As already announced in this example, all aromas have a base of PG only.
I have added the numbers that you see before the aroma names purely for my own convenience. Then I don't have to search so long in the box with aroma bottles. I just take the bottle with that number on the lid. Saves a lot of searching time if you have a lot of aromas. You can purchase small round blank stickers for this.
The calculated recipe
Now we can let the program calculate and see exactly how many grams of each ingredient should be added to our mix.
As you can see in the image above, the column 'g' (grams) is printed in bold. I have deliberately set this in the program so that the risk is lower that I use a wrong value. I also set the number of decimal places for this column to round to 2. That's accurate enough.
Final preparations for mixing
We can now fill the different syringes for each of the basic liquids and aromas that do not have a dropper with the number of milliliters indicated by the program. A little more is no problem, that goes back into the aroma bottle later. Less means topping up while mixing and that is very inconvenient!
When we have that ready we can turn on the scale and place the empty bottle on it. The scale will indicate the weight of the empty bottle. We use the scale's tare function to set the weight to 0.00 while the empty bottle is still on it.
We are now ready to mix and fill the bottle with the different ingredients. Here we go:
- Add exactly 2.13 grams of base nicotine, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.15 grams of Malina (Raspberry), then press tare
- Add exactly 0.30 grams of Fuji, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.60 grams of Cookie, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.30 grams of Meringue, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.15 grams of Fresh Cream, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.45 grams of Almond, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.07 gram Torrone, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.30 grams of Bavarian Cream, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.30 grams of Yellow Cake, then press tare
- Add exactly 0.15 grams of Acetyl Pirazine, then press tare
- Add exactly 5.49 grams of base PG, then press tare
- Add exactly 25.03 grams of base VG, then turn off the scale and remove the bottle
Finish the whole thing
Put the cap on the bottle, stick the label on it, shake it well, store it dark and at room temperature and let it steep for a day. Keep out of reach of any small children and pets. After steeping for a day, shake well again and vape. It's not for nothing that I chose this recipe as an example. I personally like it very much.
Make your own e-liquid based on your own recipe
We have now seen how to easily make an e-liquid and how to imitate a more advanced recipe. We know something about the use of the different tools and about safety and hygiene when mixing. You would almost wonder what more do I want. There are plenty of recipes on the internet that will probably last you the rest of your life.
The ultimate in making e-liquid yourself is inventing your own recipe that fully meets all your wishes. Perhaps also the wishes of any family, friends and acquaintances who have also switched from smoking to vaping.
However, this is a lot more complicated than you might think. You really need to have some knowledge of the different aromas and aroma brands. You have to learn how certain aromas harmonize with each other. Particularly important here are the proportions in percentages that allow the taste to come out optimally. Making a premium e-liquid can be compared to cooking a particularly tasty dish. Or making a delicious cocktail or fruit juice or lemonade. Don't forget the sweet snacks, pies, milkshakes and desserts because they can also be very nice to vape. It's only true what you like.
In any case, making your own e-liquid is a lot of fun to be involved with. You can start tweaking existing recipes and gradually get more experience. I think “Learning by doing” are the right expressions for the novice do-it-yourselfer in the field of making e-liquid.