This blog is based on my own experiences and is written as my own personal opinion and should be taken as that only. Please remember to follow and observe all safety precautions
Sweetening and additives
Many have asked if there is a rule of thumb when it comes to this subject. Well the simple answer is there are none.
Oh yes there is one rule of thumb. "Add nothing to the mix until you've steeped and tasted it".
The following is an explanation of additives and sweetening. It is my personal opinion and should be taken as such.
Vinegar and Lemon
Vinegar is used to perk up tobacco flavors. I usually find people adding this when in fact the problem was they just didn't add enough tobacco flavor the first time and the flavor faded after it steeped. It can some times blend tobacco flavors when using more then one type of tobacco but there are better additives to blend such as FS's Vape wizard. Vinegar is typically used at 1 drop per 5ml. It's been my experience that it will make flavors pop at first but then the flavor fades again over a few days.
Lemon juice is used to perk up fruit and candy mixes and the same can be said for that as well. Make sure you add the correct amount of flavor and let it steep first before making any adjustments. Also the lack of flavor could also be caused by over flavoring which will lead to a absents of flavor. Lemon Juice is typically used at 1 drop per 5ml. It's been my experience that it will make flavors pop at first but then the flavor fades again over a few days
Think of vinegar and lemon juice as a tool of last resort. Because the problem is most likely a mistake you made along the way in your mix.
A better use for the too is to use it to try to salvage an old juice that has already faded to a point of no taste at all.
What exactly is sweetener?
Humm good question.
EM (Ethel maltol) also known as cotton candy is not really a sweetener it changes the chemical composition of the mix and changes the perception of the way your taste buds sense flavor. EM is used more to thicken, give body and wetness to a mix as well as smooth out ruff edges. It may give already sweet flavoring a slight perception of more sweetness but will also tend to mute the actual flavor. Typical usage is .5 - 1%. I personally use no more then .5%
Sucarlose is a splenda type sweetener and small amounts will add lots and lots of sweetness so you need to be careful with percentages. This is a good choice for your candies, desert, fruit and creamy mixes. This can be found in 5 or 10% premixed solutions and should be used starting at .5% - 2%. Remember using very little gives a lot of sweetness.
I'm nuts about nuttyness
Acetyl Pyrazine (AP)
taste description: Roasted, nutty, bready and yeasty, with popcorn and corn chip nuances
good for graham gracker flavors
This is a good choice for your tobacco nuttyness such as found in your 555, Highway, T5 mixes or any mix in need of a nuttyness.
Caution should be used as this is a very potent flavor molecule.
1 - 2% will give you a nice nutty flavor
2.5 - 3% will give you a corn chip taste
3 - 5% will give you a burnt corn chip flavor.
Adding thickness and body to a mix
To add thickness and body to a mix I use marshmallo flavoring or EM. I use just a tiny amount to give it a thickness and body and not to add an actual marshmallo or a sweet taste. I recommend no more then .5% (that's point five percent)
Wetting or adding moisture
To help minimize the drying effect and throat irritation that vaping causes add 4 - 6% of .09 saline solution or distilled water to your mix.. The higher the VG content the more you will want to add. Saline tends to give a softer wetter taste then distilled water but some have said that they can taste the salt. I myself have not noticed a salty taste in my mixes. Normally adding saline or DW to high VG mixes will thin the mix allowing the juice to better wick eliminating dry hits and add the benefit of a less harsh and a wetter vape.
Here is a list of additives that Ol' Doc Porter was kind enough to allow me to use here
Acetyl Pyrazine- Sold by tpa. Used in cigarettes and cookies to impart a
"toasty" taste. Gives your juice a baked, toasted, or crispy note at 0.5%. At 1%,
it adds the taste of toasted mixed nuts. At 2% it adds a taste similar to Fritos
Caffeine- Sold by fw. The active ingredient in coffee. Does almost nothing
for your juice. According to my brother (who has Ph. D.s. in both pharmacology and
toxicology), you would have to sub-ohm over an ounce of 10% caffeine juice at
about 70w to get the effect of 1 cup of coffee. Pretty much useless. To anyone who
says they get a buzz from vaping caffeine, I'd like to borrow you for a stage
Capsicum- Sold by fw. The chemical that makes hot peppers hot; also used as
an analgesic. used in VERY SMALL amounts in your juice, it can cure sore throat. A
little more and you've got yourself an ejuice akin to hot pepper joke gum. More
than that, and you may win a one-way ticket to the emergency room. This stuff can
be dangerous. Keep in mind that the capsicum sold by fw is 375 times the strength
of the hottest pepper known to man.
Ester of Wood Rosin- Sold by fa as bitter wizard, also a main ingredient of
mts vape wizard by fa. Used in Gatorade and some colas to give a bitter note. At
0.5%, masks the flavor of vg and pg, thus only leaving the taste of your flavor
mix. At 1% or higher, gives the pleasant bitter ring of colas, whiskeys, or dark
Ethylguaiacol- Sold by sv and is a main ingredient of dnb drops wg by inw.
Adds a smoky, ashy note to your juice. Great for making cigar, cigarette, and pipe
flavors more realistic. This stuff requires a long steep in order to taste it, at
least 2 weeks.
Ethyl Maltol- Sold by tpa. Besides sugar, this is the other major ingredient
in cotton candy (floss), which gives it its characteristic flavor. It is commonly
used as a sweetener in ejuice. Its physical properties cause it to gunk up coils
Gamma Octalactone- Sold by tpa and sv. This is the stuff they put in
fudgesicles and other non-dairy treats to make them taste creamy. At 50ppm, it
will make any juice you make extra creamy; you'd swear there's real cream in it!
WARNINGS: Any more than 50ppm tastes atrocious. Tpa sells it full strength, so
you will need to dilute it to 1% in pg before using; then you can measure it to
0.5% of your mix.
Guaiacol- Sold by tpa, and is a main ingredient of both black fire by fa and
dnb drops wg by inw. This is the chemical that gives smoked meat and fish their
smoky flavor. As you can imagine, it makes anything you mix it with taste smoked,
but not burned. It also adds throat hit. It must be steeped for at least 2 weeks
to reach its full potential.
Isobutavan- Sold by tpa, and is a main ingredient of mts vape wizard by fa,
smooth by tpa, and flavor toner/enhancer by fw. This is the "thickening" agent in
the aforementioned enhancers. It does not actually thicken your juice any, but
alters the mouth feel of the vapor to seem thicker. It also cancels the vapor
thinning effect of some flavorings, thus making your clouds appear denser. Too
much of it makes everything taste like vanilla.
Malic Acid- Sold as sour by tpa. This is the sour note in old fashioned sour
balls candy as well as salt and vinegar crisps. I'm sure you get where this is
going regarding ejuice. It tends to form crystals on coils. WARNINGS: Like any
acid, this stuff eats kanthol, albeit slowly, and when used with nickel coils,
produces nickel compounds classified as class "A" carcinogens (sorry tc fans, and
no, I'm not showing any documentation, as it is simple chemistry: nickel+acid
+air=horrible, dangerous stuff; read a ....ing textbook).
4-Methyl Guaiacol- Sold by tpa and is a main ingredient of black fire by fa.
Added to foods to make them taste as if they have been cooked on a grill or over a
campfire. Gives your juice a wood, charcoal, or coal fire note. Just a touch can
make your toasted marshmallow vape really take you back to camping with the folks.
Methyl Menthyl Acetate- Sold as koolada by tpa and kool effects by fw.
Menthol cool without menthol taste. That simple. Of course, you can make your own
by simply dissolving menthol crystals into pg and cooking it at 180F until it no
longer smells like menthol. It takes a long time, much patience, and careful
heating; this is how I do it, but then, I'm an alchemist.
Piperine- Sold as flash by fa. This is what gives black pepper its spiciness
Can be used to add throat hit or mixed in equal measure with fa pepper black to
add the taste of fresh cracked pepper to your savory mixes.
Sucralose- Sold by tpa. Artificial sweetener that is ubiquitous, you know,
everywhere and in everything; it's "splenda, the artificial sweetener made from
real sugar!" Well, being made from sugar, you can imagine what it does to coils,
not to mention that a dry hit of this will give you more "tar" than the analogues
you're likely trying to avoid.
Syringol- Sold in pure crystal form by tpa (for a limited time only) and is a
main ingredient in both black fire by fa and dnb drops wg by inw. This is the
chemical that gives smoked meat and fish their smoky aroma. It is the main flavor
in all commercial smoke flavorings, and was even added to Gen. Patch action
figures in the 80s to give them the "smell of battle". Mix crystals 13.5% in pg to
make extract. Be careful not to overdo it with this flavor, or your juice will
taste like phenol (that nasty background note in sore throat spray).
Triacetin- Sold as aaa magic mask by fa, and is a main ingredient of mts vape
wizard by fa, smooth by tpa, and flavor toner/enhancer by fw. This stuff is used
in many processed foods and in cigarette filters to smooth out harsh notes. It
does this by temporarily numbing certain taste receptors in your tongue. This is
the reason you can stomach breakfast cereals, microwave meals, and all the added
paper and other trash they put in commercial cigarettes. Likewise, it can make
some ejuices tolerable, maybe even tasty, that without it would be abominable.
This stuff is actually amazing. If you really suck at diy, and your juice tastes
like an abortion, you need this stuff; it can save even some of the worst tasting
mixes. SIDENOTE: Triacetin is also the most amazing coil cleaner! It actually does
for cotton what conditioner does for hair; vg slowly clogs wicks, and pg makes the
fibers brittle, but aaa unclogs wicks and plasticizes fibers, leaving them
flexible once more.
Triethyl Citrate- Sold by tpa. This is an emulsifier used to make essential
oils water soluable. It is used by fa, tpa, inw, fw, cap, hs, and just about every
flavor company everywhere. It is used in most popular flavors. This is the "secret
ingredient" that turns oil soluables into water soluables, if you know how to use
it. think of it as "the flavorer's stone", sought after to turn crap flavors into
Trimethyl Pyrazine- Sold by tpa. nearly identical to acetyl pyrazine at top
The recommend percentages are a baseline to start with. "TASTE IS VERY SUBJECTIVE" So let your taste buds be your guide. Always start with the lowest recommended amount, Steep, taste then adjust.
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Good Luck and happy vapeing
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