Mark Linehan's DIY E-Juice Guide For E-Cigarette-Forum.com
While discussing my own e-cuice recipe's and reviewing flavorings that I use, it was pointed out to me that people wanted to try some of my own recipe's but that they do not DIY. Now this really floors me because it is such an easy thing to do, and can save you SO much money it is amazing. Figure that you can buy reusable 5ml, 10ml, 15ml, 30ml bottles with childproof caps and drip tips included for like .50cents each more or less depending on the site you use. I, personally, only use MadVapes.com unless they don't carry a product I need (like Flavorings) in which case I use LorAnn.com and I love their flavors. I use them in baking as well as e-juices. I am contemplating trying Capella's flavorings, but I have not heard enough word of mouth about them to decide if I should. Please reply with a review of their flavors if you have DIY'ed their products yourself.
Now you have your bottles, and you only need to buy these one time. Well, unless you keep mailing juices to the awesome people of ECF or have a vicious kitty who seems to hate empty plastic bottles. So now you need the following to really be able to make your own DIY juices.
You Will Need
A large bottle of PG, VG or a combination of the two
Unflavored E-Juice (PG, VG or a combination with nicotine)
Empty Bottles (I always use 10ml w/child cap and dripper from MadVapes VERY CHEAP!)
Liquid Dropper (Like an Eye Dropper)
THAT is all you need. You do not need some big expensive DIY mixing kit. It is a waste of money IMHO. Sure there are some items in these that could be useful, like Pipettes, mini funnels and stuff like that, but if we are talking about simply what you need to get started mixing, then that is all you need. Nicotine juice, plain VG/PB, Flavorings, Empty Bottles and a dropper like an eye dropper. Everything else is not required.
Now it is important to realize that not all droppers/drip tips are created equal. Some make larger or smaller drops. There is no standard for these that everyone follows. So the first thing you need to do, is take all of your droppers/drip tips and scale them.
Scaling your dropper is simply the process of determining exactly how many drops it takes with s specific dropper to equal 1ml and make a note of this, and do this for any droppers that you will be mixing with. This is good to know for mixing because, for example, I have two droppers I use when mixing. One is a glass dropper with a large soft rubber bulb and this takes 20 drops to make 1ml, while I have a 30ml bottle with a drip tip that I use for dispensing my unflavored nicotine juice from and it only needs 16 drops to equal 1 ml. Then I have a 50ml bottle with a drip tip that I use for dispensing my plain VG from and it takes 18 drops to equal 1 ml. So there you have it. 3 different dropper types and all 3 dispense different size drops. Now that you know how many drops make 1ml, you can start calculating your recipes, which is not nearly as hard as a lot of folks might think it is.
The standard ratio of ingredients that I, and most others seem to use is 80/20 which means 20% flavorings and 80% glycerine and diluents.
I purchase my unflavored e-juice with a LOT of nicotine strength. I go with 36mg because that is the strongest I can get at MadVapes and I always purchase from one vendor when possible. If you can get your e-juice unflavored with higher nicotine strengths then you should consider it. Some vendors do not charge different fees for different strengths of nicotine only for the size of the bottle. When this is the case, buy as strong as they have and you will save a lot of money!
I have found that 18mg seems to be a widely used nicotine strength for folks and they homemade juices. Although, everyone likes something different. I know one lovely lady who enjoys 6mg and I know a chimney of a man who actually likes vaping 36mg! That is crazy and would probably make me pass out after two puffs.
So, let's assume that we want to work with 18mg as our final juice's nicotine strength. Let us also assume that we are using a dropper that has 20 drops per ml just for the KISS rule (KISS = keep it simple stupid). We start with 36mg e-juice, so we know that we want our juice to be 50% e-juice because half of 36 is 18. The rest will be 20% flavoring as standard flavor concentration. and the other 30% would be filler. I always use VG for everything. I like my juice on the thicker side, and VG has excellenty vapor production. If your e-cig seems to be unable to handle an all VG juice's thickness, then you could always cut it with 1ml of VG replaced by 1ml of PG or 1 ml of distilled water or even vodka. I have vaped vodka a few times now and it is an interesting diluent. (NOTE: Never vape Isopropyl alcohol, not that you would, but it had to be said for those who.. well.. it just had to be said).
To convert 36mg into 18mg E-Juice using the 20% flavor standard...
10ml = 200 drops @ 20 drops/ml
50% E-Juice, 30% Plain VG/PG, 20% Flavoring
50% E-Juice equals 100 drops (5ml)
30% Diluent equals 60 drops (3ml)
20% Flavoring equals 40 drops (2ml)
To convert 36mg into 6mg E-Juice using the 20% flavor standard...
10ml = 200 drops @ 20 drops/ml
8% E-Juice, 72% Plain PG/VG, 20% Flavoring
8% E-Juice equals 16 drops (0.8ml)
72% Diluent equals 144 drops (7.2ml)
20% Flavoring equals 40 drops (2ml)
Now as an example of the math in a not so KISS situation, let us assume we have an 18 drops per ml drip tip to work with, A target of 12mg nicotine and we have a weak flavor like strawberry and are going for 30% flavor concentration. Also we are making a 15ml bottle.
15ml = 270 drops @ 18 drops/ml
33% E-Juice, 37% Plain PG/VG, 30% Flavoring
33% E-Juice equals 89 drops (4.95ml)
37% Diluent equals 100 drops (5.55ml)
30% Flavoring equals 81 drops (4.5ml)
So there you have it. Now I will list all of the formula to note and some hints and tips to keep in mind.
(1) To calculate your drops, you multiply the number of ml by the # drops/ml with your dropper.
(2) You want to use 20% flavoring in most cases, but you have to experiment with your flavors to know how well each one works.
(3) You can not end up with the same amount of nicotine strength that you start with because it will always be cut by at least the 20% flavoring.
(4) Everyone's taste buds work differently, so you need to take people's reviews as suggestive. You might love a vapor that I hate and visa versa. This is very common.
(5) Batches of e-liquid will never come out exactly the same every time it is mixed.
(6) Calculate your recipe in ML as it is easier that way, then multiply the ml by drops to do the mixing, unless you have some accurate ml mixing accessories. Otherwise use drops and droppers because you will have much better accuracy that way.
(7) Always check or ask for a list of ingredients from your flavoring supplier. There are a number of contentious chemicals that some less scrupulous flavor makers use in their flavorings.
(8) Always begin learning with, or trying new recipes with, smaller amounts. It is always easier to add to a recipe than take away from one.
(9) There are windows applications out there specifically for calculating juice mixing amounts. I am actually writing one myself right now. It will be a little while before it is ready.
(10) If you get a flavor that you hate, do NOT throw it away! There are a bunch of things you can do with it!
(a) Give it to someone in the PIF section of the ECF
(b) Trade it with someone in the SWAP section of the ECF
(c) Save it for cooking with (the flavoring not the e-juice LOL)
(d) Use it as a light addition to other flavors, sometimes even though you don't like the singular taste of a flavor, you might love it as an ehancement to other flavors that are a bit rough for you. For instance, although I love cola alone, I also find that it is a terrific addition to almost EVERYTHING because it seems to add a brightness that the cola flavor is known for. I do not like cinnamon roll flavor very much, but it has a special effect on my tobacco flavors for some reason. I got a marlboro flavor that was just gross, but adding cinnamon roll to it made it much more pleasant.
So that is about it. If you have any questions don't hesitate to PM me.
Oh! Don't forget I am still and always looking for dead or dying batteries, atty's, mod's tools and anything else e-cig related. I repair/rebuild/refurbish these and will then offer anything I save from the barrel to someone in one of the PIF sections. I am told that I have several battery types and a couple of whole mods on the way that all need work, but I need lots more. This is a great way to have a full circle community. I get to practice my electronics and modding, and the PIF needs/wants get more and more items. I also get to make more tutorials for people learn from. PM me if you have some stuff to donate to the cause!
TERMS USED IN DIY MIXING
Drip Tip: Insertable stopper for plastic bottles that turn it into a dropper bottle.
Dropper: A tube with a narrowed end that creates surface tension and allows you to drip liquid out the end using a rubber buld or a soft bottle.
Pipette: A long thin tube used for measuring and dispensing specific amounts of liquid quicker than droppers.
Diluent: A liquid used to cut the strength or flavor of an e-juice or to thin out an all VG liquid. Generally PG, VG, Distilled Water or even Vodka are used as Diluents.
E-Juice: A liquid containing nicotine, with a base usually made of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Polyethylene Glycol 400 or some combination of these.
PG: Propylene Glycol is a popular liquid base used in making E-Juice or as a diluent in E-Juice for cutting the nicotine strength or flavor strength.
VG: Vegetable Glycerin is a thicker base than PG and produces higher volumes of vapor and is much thicker than PG and PEG400, sometimes too thick and need cutting with distilled water
Unflavored: This typically refers to an e-juice that contains some milligram strength of nicotine and either VG or PG as a base.
Flavoring: Generally used when describing the liquid flavor drop concentrates that are added to unflavored e-juice to make flavored e-juice of course.
Cutting: The process of lowering the mg strength of nicotine in an e-juice by adding a diluent
Flavor Oils: Sometimes oil based flavorings are used to make an e-juice, note that some oils are bad for an atomizer, you should research a flavor that is oil based before using them.
ml: milliliter, a metric unit of measure for liquids.
FYI: If ingredients are purchased in bulk supplies, juices can be made for as low as 65 cents for 10ml inlcuding the bottle! Would anyone like to organize a BULK liquid batch with me? I will do the mixing and mailing out if a bunch of people want to all go in with me and we can make a gallon of e-liquid and split if evenly!