My way of mixing: on a scale
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Thread: My way of mixing: on a scale

  1. #1
    Super Member ECF Veteran yo han's Avatar
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    Default My way of mixing: on a scale

    Perhaps this has come up before but I couldn't find anything about it here (not that I did a thorough search).
    I read a lot of people are using pipettes and syringes for measuring the different ingredients for their liquids. Some even count droplets (which can only work if all ingredients are added from the exact same type of dropper bottle).
    I find this very cumbersome and not accurate enough so I'm using a way easier method (in my opinion): a precision scale.
    I keep all my ingredients (nicotine base liquid, VG, PG, distilled water, PGA and flavors) in dropper bottles.
    I put my empty bottle on the precision scale (resolution of 0.01 g), zero the scale and start putting in the nicotine base liquid. I then zero the scale again (with the bottle still on it) and go to the next ingredient and so on. This is really easy and you don't waste liquid which gets left behind in your measuring tools.
    To use this method you have to know the density of each of your ingredients so here's a list of them:

    Nicotine: 1.01g/ml
    PG: 1.04g/ml
    VG: 1.26g/ml
    PGA: 0.8 - 0.9g/ml
    Water: 1g/ml
    Flavor: depends on the base of the flavor. PG based flavors are roughly the same density as PG, alcohol based flavors are roughly the same density as PGA.

    Note: Some VG base liquids come pre-diluted with water (15 to 20%) to make them thinner.
    If your VG base liquid is as thin as PG then it's been dilluted, resulting in a lower density.
    If this is the case it's best to measure a larger amount (say 100ml) and weigh it. Divide the measured result by 100 and you know its density.

    Here's an example of how a recipe translates to my method:

    recipe.jpg

    My VG nicotine mix has a density of 1.25g/ml so 4ml weighs 5g
    VG without nicotine has a density 1.26g/ml so 4ml weighs 5.04g
    Water has a density of 1g/ml so 1.5ml weighs 1.5g
    My flavoring is alcohol based and has a density of around 0.9g/ml so 0.5ml weighs 0.45g

    This part may seem a bit complicated to some of you but it's really easy.
    I think that once you've tried this method you won't go back to using syringes and stuff.

    Precision scales can be bought pretty cheap. They're not calibrated lab quality of course but they're accurate enough for this purpose. This is the one I'm using: click
    I've compared it to an expensive lab model and it's pretty good!!!
    Oh, and you can switch between imperial and metric system. You want to use metric (obviously).
    Last edited by yo han; 08-15-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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    Measuring by weight is the most accurate way to mix. It's how all the large volume commercial manufacturers mix there products regardless of what the product is (Juices, cosmetics, commercial consumer products etc...). There is a really good thread on this I saw a month or so ago right here in the DYI forum. But for the avarage joe such as myself this gets to be a bit complicated.
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    How do you derive the density figures?

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    Super Member ECF Veteran yo han's Avatar
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    The density figures can be found on the MSDS sheets of each liquid.
    But you can also derive them from measuring a certain amount of liquid (say 100ml) and weigh it.
    EG: if 100ml of liquid X weighs 122 grams, the density of that liquid is 1.22 (g/ml)
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    I wasn't sure if I was going to start mixing or not, but this method impresses me greatly. Thanks fro sharing.
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    Imo, using a scale is the best way to get consistent nicotine levels and repeatable mixes. Been using a variation of this method since May of '11. It's kind of a pita getting started, but definitely worth the effort.

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    I used to mix paint for automotive repairs using a precision scale. Usually, the color matches were pretty much "right on" because of the accuracy of the measurements. I've been doing DIY for a while using liquid volume measurements and have always felt that mixing by weight is the most accurate way to go. I think the biggest variable is the density of the flavors and it's kind of hard to get a big enough sample, say 50ml or more, to make the errors small enough so they become statistically insignificant. I may have to break out my gram scale and do some sample weights, just for the fun of it.
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    Super Member ECF Veteran yo han's Avatar
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    The densities for the ingredients I've listed in my first post are always the same so you shouldn't have to go through the trouble of measuring them again.
    I've listed all the main ingredients. The only variable could be in the flavors but these are such a small part of the mix that it's not a problem if they're a bit off.
    And the density of base liquids can easily be calculated without measuring as well but this isn't really necessary because of the tiny differences.

    Example:

    Say you've got a 100mg PG base liquid.

    10% of this liquid has a density of 1.01 (nicotine)
    90% of this liquid has a density of 1.04 (PG)

    So per ml this means:
    10% of 1.01 = 0.101
    90% of 1.04 = 0.936
    Add these up and you're getting a density of 1.037g
    Of course you can't weigh this accurate so to round it off you're getting a density of 1.04
    As you can see, the 10% nicotine has so little influence on the overall density of the base liquid that it can even be ignored.
    For VG it's only a bit more but also negligible. My 40mg VG base liquid should have a density of 1.25 compared to 1.26 for 100% VG. The difference is too small to notice.

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    Thanks! Next time I mix I plan on using the olde gram scale which with the syringes, gloves, goggles, apron and so on will make me feel more like a druggie or a mad scientist
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    Very interesting I am going to have to give this a try.

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