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Menthol Crystals with no PGA -- What are issues?

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by howiez, Mar 31, 2011.

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  1. howiez

    howiez Full Member

    I can't get my hands on PGA or any grain alcohol. In Ontario, these are not available. I have big container of Menthol crystals ready, and only PG/VG/Vodka/Distilled water/??? to mix it with.

    What is the best alternatives to mix menthol crystals with? Why use an alcohol when PG seems to work OK? Is there an advantage to alcohol?

    I have read that a 2:1 ratio of crushed menthol crystals to PGA is recommended. Is this identical if I use an alternate?

    Any menthol cyrstal users help apricated :)
  2. Papa Lazarou

    Papa Lazarou Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 15, 2008
    I mixed PG and menthol crystals at approx a 1:1 ratio for my own menthol concentrate and it works fine. You will probably need to warm the mix a little to initially dissolve the crystals, but at room temperature this mix has shown no signs of crystals reforming.
  3. howiez

    howiez Full Member

    That sounds so simple. Why does every post I've read about menthol crystals say PGA is where its at? Since PG is so much more convienient and simple, why would everyone not use PG? I mean, (almost) every DIY person should have PG lying around in droves...
  4. Papa Lazarou

    Papa Lazarou Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm not sure, perhaps PGA will hold more menthol crystals before being saturated (you mention a 2:1 ratio) but PGA is not very easily available where I am either. At 1:1 it's still a pretty strong mix. Got to be PG though, it's not very soluble in glycerine.
  5. howiez

    howiez Full Member

    Perhaps people like the extra TH, and for non-nic users, PGA adds this...

    You had your 1000'th post with me... Congrats!! :)
  6. Hoosier

    Hoosier Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    I used PGA because I had it sitting around. Filled a bottle with crushed menthol and added just enough PGA to disolve them, so my result was pretty close to just menthol with a little carrier.

    That's the why of it. I could, it was quick, and it was easy.

    If I was in your part of the world I would have used PG instead.

    Why ask why?
  7. Papa Lazarou

    Papa Lazarou Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 15, 2008
    Thanks :) Only took two and a half years to get there!
  8. aprioristic

    aprioristic Moved On

    Oct 20, 2010
    Harrisburg, PA
    That's a pretty strong concentration. I would use more PG both so it is easier to dissolve and not so strong or easier to work with.

    Maybe you really had less than 1:1 because Dow lists solubility of menthol as ">50%"

    This is the entry I have about menthol in my guidebook too: Slightly soluble in water; very soluble in alcohol and volatile oils

    VG isn't a good solvent but in a lot of cases PG falls somewhere in between alcohol and water.
  9. Dougiestyle

    Dougiestyle Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 5, 2011
    Knoxville, TN USA
    My instructions from OneStopDIYShop says 2.5mL crushed mentho crystals (1/2tsp) to 10mL PGA. I mix it that way and it comes out very well.

    I have no advice for you, OP.
  10. howiez

    howiez Full Member

    FWIW I jammed a bunch of crystals into a 10ml emtpy bottle, then added some PG. I'd say close to 50/50. I DID NOT crush them, just to see. They slowly started disolving, after about an hour they were about 1/2 gone. I ran the bottle under hot water from sink for few minutes, shaking every 30 seconds. Within 2-3 minutes crystals disolved. They have been sitting overnight, and bottle still looks crystal clear.

    Looks like there is no need for PGA :)

    I'll let this bottle sit around for a few weeks to be sure there is no re-formed crystals, but for now, it seems PG is just as effective (at least at a 1:1 ratio) as PGA..

    On a side note, a tiny crystal grain must have got stuck to the tip of my PV... I noticed pretty quckly as my lips tounge and mouth started to tingle... That woke me up!! :p
  11. Kbut655

    Kbut655 Guest

    DON'T try to mix Menthol crystals with 40 proof vodka (that's all I can get in Alberta):(.
    The mixture turns milky and constantly seperates.
    I have found that mixing with straight PG is a better alternative the crystals don't reform in a 50/50 mix...
  12. Papa Lazarou

    Papa Lazarou Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 15, 2008
    Good link. Must admit I didn't carefully measure it, I just made it to approximately 50% by eye, and while strong, I can easily make a mix with a slight hint of menthol or a "take your head off" menthol with it :) Just vary the number of drops. The ">" symbol means "greater than" so if I'm reading it correctly they are saying solubility in PG is greater than 50%.
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