What Else Do I Need? - DIY Mixing staples and misc for blending flavors
by, 02-02-2012 at 06:30 PM (5451 Views)
Disclaimer: Hoosier's DIY blogs are to only be read and understood by folks who have read all the sticky's in DIY E-Liquid and are based off of my experience with mixing my own juice for over a year.
OK, you've read all the sticky's. You have nicotine solution and bottles of PG and VG. You've even laid in a supply of flavorings, empty bottles, and measuring equipment. You are drooling over the thought of making some new fantastic juice and how great it will be. But what makes the difference between just a juice that vapes and one that is great? Unicorn tears and butterfly farts, or seemingly meaningless things that really make a difference.
First thing you need to have is the right mindset. This is not making a cake from a box, not yet it isn't. Once you have a great recipe it is like making cake from a box, but without the right mindset, that recipe may be impossible to create. There are no failures! There are mistakes that bring your mix closer to perfection. There are learning experiences that coat the drain lines of your kitchen sink. There may even be great juices that taste nothing like you expected when you first started. Keep notes so you can learn from these mistakes. If you refuse to learn from my blogs and your own experience to adjust what you are doing, then quitting is an option, but if you are of that type then you do not have the mindset in the first place. Without the mindset it is better to quit before you start and save yourself from the stress.
I could tell you that you HAVE to have one of these http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/wal...001629-product because I use them, at least two of these everytime I mix. I really like this one because it has a cleaning brush with it that has other uses when cleanup time comes and it just plain works. If I told you that you HAVE to have those syringes, I'd be a liar. You do have to have some way to measure that is repeatable and fairly accurate though and know that drops are not a good way to measure everything. If you just have to use drops, get a graduated cylinder and count the number of drops to bring the level up to 3ml and divide by 3 to get an average for each component in each dropper bottle you have. (You can pour your 3ml back into the bottle before you mark it with your estimate.) This is most important when you begin to scale up from your first 3ml to 5ml experiments. Tweaking a recipe when going from 5ml to 30ml is common and you will spend much less time tweaking if your experiments are done with repeatable measurements.
EM = Ethyl Maltol. You may as well tie one hand behind your back if you do not have some of this in your stash of stuff. (Two flavoring companies that I know of also sell this in a 10% solution as Cotton Candy Flavoring.) I use EM in a 10% solution and here is what it does:
Note that some folks are sensitive to the effects of EM and can taste sweetness at 0.05%, but this is fairly rare, and some folks are resistant to the effect and will never get anything sweet out of EM, but it will still add a depth to their juice that is feel more than taste. I don't care if you buy Maltol crystals and make your own solution or if you buy a 10% solution of ethyl maltol premade, like I do, just get it and experiment with it.
- Tiny Bit (A fraction of 1% in your mix) - Gives a "body" to the vapor and may slightly reduce sharp notes.
- A Bit (Close to 1% +/- in your mix) - As above but will take the edge off sharp notes and may very slightly sweeten.
- A Bunch (1%-5% of your total mix) - As above plus sweeten
- A Load (10%+ of your total mix) - Cotton Candy flavor
Order a Magic Bullet?
One of these may be a magical addition to your mix and all are by Flavour Art. They are also components that I tend to use by drops as FA's bottles are pretty consistant in drop size from my measurements and not much is used even when mixing larger quantities.
- MTS Vape Wizard, aka VW. MTS is suppose to stand for More Thicker Smoother. It can help some mixes produce more vapor. (Some flavorings actually reduce vapor production) It can smooth or help blend flavors together. I use it in the 1 drop per 10ml to 1 drop per 3ml range, but usually start closer to the middle at 1 drop per 5ml to see if it will do a darn thing to the mix. Sometimes it seems to work wonders, but I've never had it make a mix worse.
- Bitter Wizard. This makes things bitter. Mostly useful for tobacco blends, but sometimes a bit of bitter will make things much more flavorful. Again 1 drop per 10ml to 1 drop per 2ml is a useful range. I usually start at the tiny 1 drop per 10ml and work up if it is needed.
- Magic Mask. This is weird stuff and I find it is more likely to hurt the taste of a mix than to help it. It can take really sharp notes down and make them palatable. I usually start over if I have used this in a mix and it helps and always start over if I have used this in a mix and it makes it worse. It may work better for you than me. This is the last thing I ever try on a mix.
More Stuff that tiny amounts can do great things:
- Lorann Tart & Sour (This should explain itself.)
- TPA/TFA's Koolada - This gives the feeling that mint and menthol give without the taste. (If you HATE menthol, avoid it as your brain will not be able to tell the difference between the feeling and the taste.)
- Concentrated Lemon Juice - Yeah, that stuff out of the plastic lemon. Not for use with tobacco mixes, but can really brighten fruits.
- Vinegar - Like lemon, but can work with tobacco mixes.
- See Vinegar? for a discussion about vinegar and lemon juice in mixes so you know it is not just a wild-eyed Hoosier thing.
There are other unicorn tears and butterfly farts in my magic bag, but I've given you fine folks enough to get started on your own to making great mixes. You won't know until you try and you'll never know if you don't try, so have some fun with it!