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Diy questions? Need advice!!!!

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by Kelly1988, Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    Watermelon has always been weak in flavor. Add a small bit of a strawberry flavor to enhance the flavoring. As a stand alone I mix cap watermelon double and sweet watermelon together total flavoring of 15% and allow to steep from 2-3 months. Ymmv
    :)
     
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  2. SlowTalker

    SlowTalker Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 8, 2010
    Ohio
    I've never mixed any fruit, but have been chasing the prefect Bear Claw for some time. One thing that helped me finally start making progress was to stop mixing with sweeteners. Get the flavor right and add sweetener later as needed. I sweeten 10 ml at a time, as I vape it, so I can adjust without screwing up my recipe.
     
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  3. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

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  4. Letitia

    Letitia Citrus Junkie ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 2, 2017
    West Frankfort, IL
    I very seldom use sweetener and never add em or cotton candy. Get to know the flavors you buy, many already have a bit of em or sweetener already added so by adding more em you have muted the mix from the start.

    Adding a couple drops of INW raspberry or FA beryl raspberry or TFA dragon fruit will give the strawberries a pop as well. Addind 0.5% of pear can be used to sweeten.


    I would suggest
    TFA Strawberry Ripe 4%
    INW shisha strawberry 2%
    Cream(s) of choice 2-3%
    No EM
     
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  5. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All* ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 16, 2010
    So-Cal
    Then I would Highly Suggest you use this as a Sweetener.

    Flavor Apprentice - Sweetener - 30mL

    Ethyl Maltol can only go so far and then it just starts to Taste like Chemical Bleh.

    There is also No Steeping Time required when using TFA Sweetener. Just Add, Shake n' Vape. Just be aware that a Little goes a Long Way. So start with a Few Drops per 30ml and slowly move up as needed.
     
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  6. JCinFLA

    JCinFLA Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 21, 2015
    @Kelly1988 - Something that I haven't seen mentioned yet, is that TFA Strawberry has ethyl alcohol in it. If you don't let it evaporate off before you vape the eliquid you've made with it...it often affects the harshness and taste of the eliquid. (Ethyl maltol is used as a smoother for harshness in quite a few "fruity" recipes, but too much mutes the flavoring.) Easy way to get the ethyl alcohol to evaporate off, and lessen the harshness, is to shake the eliquid to cause lots of bubbles, and then leave the dropper tip and cap off the bottle so the EA can go "poof". How long it needs to do that depends on how big the batch of eliquid is. One thing I've noticed is that when a sort of whitish ring forms around the inside of the bottle at the top of your eliquid (from the popped bubbles)...the EA is usually gone.

    The TFA Strawberry Ripe doesn't have ethyl alcohol though. It's to me, the sweeter of the 2 strawberries from them. I usually use a combo of both in strawberry recipes, with the Strawberry Ripe at 3 times the % of the Strawberry (ie. Strawberry Ripe @ 6%, Strawberry @ 2%).
     
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  7. greek mule

    greek mule Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 2, 2018
    Athens,Greece
    Flavors have a "best used by"life of at least nine months and often much longer,when they are stored in glass.
    I would "retire" that Ethyl Maltol..
     
  8. IDJoel

    IDJoel Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    @Kelly1988,
    While I do agree that flavor concentrates (generally speaking) can have volatile ingredients, which may dissipate and become less potent over time. I respectfully disagree with greek mule's prior recommendation. EM, in its natural state (at room temperature, and without other ingredients), is a solid (crystals) and quite stable. It is not going to go bad. I have a small bottle, that is nearing 7 years old, and it still works the same as when I bought it.

    That said; the best thing you can do with your EM (in my opinion), is to put it in the back of a closet, and forget you have it. I exaggerate... but, it is to make a point. :) As I have come to believe... both from my own DIY journey, as well as watching other mixers' struggles on multiple forums... that EM has more pitfalls, than benefits, to offer.

    First off, as @Sugar_and_Spice all ready mentioned, EM is (much) less a sweetener, than it is a mouth-feel enhancer. It can be useful for making a vapor "feel" thicker/more dense. It is also quite useful for removing unwanted "sharp/harsh/high" flavor notes, and smoothing out the overall flavor profile. This is why many flavor manufacturers use it in some (many?) of their concentrates. This leads to the second problem with EM.

    This "smoothing" effect, when taken too far, begins to mute flavor, instead of helping it. Use too much EM; and, instead of helping a recipe, it starts killing flavor. If, I use flavor concentrates that already contain EM, and add more EM myself, I can easily start to get too much EM and not even realize it.
    (sorry; that was a pretty redundant paragraph, but I don't believe the muting potential of EM can be over-stated)

    Though, most manufacturers don't disclose the chemical contents of their concentrates, TFA (TPA) does. So, your original recipe can illustrate what I am talking about. Your original recipe call for:
    If we look at the chemical analysis of each of the ingredients (found on TPA's website, under the FAQs tab), we can get an idea of how much EM (both ethyl maltol, as well as maltol), could likely be in the recipe.

    For Bavarian Cream, TFA tells us:
    upload_2019-2-7_18-51-14.png
    (source)
    This is telling us that it might be made up of as much as 35% EM, and M.

    For Strawberry, TFA tells us:
    upload_2019-2-7_18-57-13.png
    (source)
    This is nowhere as high as the Bavarian Cream, but still it can contain up to 1.5% EM/M.

    Finally, for the EM you used; we don't have data for your particular brand. But, 10% is a fairly(?) common dilution, so I will use 10% to finish off my example. Once all the concentrates are combined... it ends up being a lot of EM (relatively speaking).

    So, looking at the recipe in this light, one can see how easy it might be to have too much EM, and suffer from flavor muting. I tend to work with the general assumption that if EM is going to benefit a concentrate, and by extension... a recipe, it is most likely already going to be in there.

    Other, genuine sweeteners (sucralose, stevia, erythritol), have a lower likelihood to mute. And therefore, a "better" choice in my opinion. Even those, as @SlowTalker recommended, are best added after the rest of the flavors are dialed into the profile you are wanting.

    When I am creating/tweaking a recipe; EM is always the very last ingredient I will try adding. Usually, I can get better results by changing flavor percentages (raising and/or lowering), or trying different flavor concentrates. :)

    Lots of things can affect the way a recipe can taste:
    -- atomizer used
    -- amount of airflow
    -- temperature vaped at (power used)
    -- coil and wicking used
    -- and, above all, our own taste buds.
    Some folk are "super tasters," and can use very little flavoring. While other folks have little sense of taste, and require/enjoy much higher flavor percentages. That doesn't make one person "right," or another "wrong." It just means that each of us has to find what works best for ourselves.

    As you experiment to find what works best for you; just keep in the back of your mind, that most(?) flavors have a range where they work best. Too little; and they can taste weak, to nonexistent. Too much; and the taste can start to take on a "fake"/artificial, or even chemical-like taste. Too much; can also actually mute the desired taste. So, when it is tasting weak, and adding more doesn't seem to help... it can be beneficial, to look at what percentage others are using it at, and perhaps try lowering its percentage.

    And, just like using too much of a single concentrate, can create a muted taste. Using too much of many flavors, can create a muted, or muddled taste. That is why, sometimes it is better to lower percentages of the flavors that are too strong, rather than raising the weak(er) flavors.


    This all may seem a bit overwhelming to you right now. And, it is a lot to absorb. Just know, that it is going to take some experimenting to learn what is going to work for you. Mix small batches (to conserve your ingredients), be patient (give your mixes time to fully mature), and don't get frustrated... as there is almost always something else you can try to make it better.

    Try to keep e-liquid you like, and can vape on hand, as you find your way. Whether, that is commercial e-liquid, or simple DIY one shots, that @Sugar_and_Spice previously recommended. It helps to remove the pressure to "get it right, right now."

    Do your best to keep it fun. Pat yourself on the back often, for even the small successes ("It's better than last time."). And, forgive and forget, the less than ideal attempts. If you can do that; you stand a great chance to becoming a successful DIYer. :D

    EDIT: Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing that helps me on my journey. Write down everything you try... and how it turned out. I have found this to be the best way, to learn from both my mistakes, as well as my successes. Nothing is more discouraging, than to stumble across a real keeper, only to never be able to do it again. Or... making the same mistake, over and over, because I couldn't remember doing it before... until I do it again. :facepalm: :-x:-x:-x :D:laugh::lol::laugh::D

    Have fun! And, welcome to your own DIY journey!!
    :toast:
     
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  9. Katya

    Katya ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Feb 23, 2010
    SoCal
    Wow! Not much can be said after that, but I will say it anyway. :facepalm:

    @Kelly1988 Always try new flavors individually at their lowest recommended percentage. Make small sample batches. If you put two or three unknown flavors together, you'll never know which is the offending (or your favorite) one. :2c:
     
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  10. madstabber

    madstabber Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Couldn’t say it any better then IDJoel did above me. I have used EM for quite awhile, in the crystal form. I’d just add some and they’d dissolve, but when I was using tfa ry4 double for example I’d mute my mix because I unknowingly was adding more EM to a mix with a flavoring that contained EM. It’s like the Sour additives, usually more trouble then it’s worth. I will use both on occasion but like Joel said it’s the last thing added and only when my mix is missing something and in very small amounts. For someone getting started on the DIY journey both additives are more trouble then they are worth. There is so many variables already when we mix that when you’re getting started your best bet is to eliminate as many variables as possible and build. Many additives are at the tippitty top of juice mix. Your foundation is you nicotine base, and every floor is a flavoring. Start with a single flavor and if you like it maybe mix two of the same flavor together like adding rooms on your first floor. All the while keeping notes a.k.a. Your blueprint. In no time you will be building beautiful buildings that everyone wants a piece of. I stick to making ranch style homes or two, three story tops. I’m not a high rise kinda guy but there is some out there that do it and do it well. Just take time and start simple and small. Get yourself a great 500 sq. Ft. One bed/one bath Ranch poured on a slab because you aren’t ready for basements yet.
     
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  11. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    man you talk a lot. :shock:


































    sometimes you just gotta scroll to get to the end







    j/k
    :p
    Great post.
    LOL
    :)
     
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  12. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    I wanted to mention to you that I have begun to vape unflavored also and am trying to add just small amounts of my existing diy juices to it. Maybe like a 4(unflavored) to 1(flavored) mix. I started doing this a few weeks ago and find it very enjoyable and have no trouble tasting any of the flavors this way. Coils are much cleaner for a longer period of time and also makes it easier for me to vape as it doesn't feel as heavy? (for lack of better term atm).

    :)
     
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  13. greek mule

    greek mule Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 2, 2018
    Athens,Greece
    Ethyl Maltol is dilluted at 10% in PG.Usually in plastic bottles.
    MONUMENT CHEMICAL INC.
    PG USP-SALES-SPEC [/QUOTE] Expiration date is two years from date of manufacture when the Propylene Glycol USP is kept below 100F, out of direct sunlight ,in the original sealed drums.
     
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  14. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    Expiration date is two years from date of manufacture when the Propylene Glycol USP is kept below 100F, out of direct sunlight ,in the original sealed drums.[/QUOTE]



    EM and M are also sold in crystal form and I think that is what is being referred to......seems to be just a small misunderstanding of which state the EM is in. I think.

    :)
     
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  15. Kelly1988

    Kelly1988 Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2019
    Buffalo
    Thanks Joel! You're always so helpful! As is everyone else! I appreciate the time you are taking out of your day to help a new diy Noobe. Ive really learned a lot from you in such a short time.. and all of your advice I keep in mind. You are a very kind person and very thoughtful. I feel like I gained some friendships with my fellow members and that's so comforting. :blush:

    And everyone else on this forum are so so helpful. There's a lot I still have to learn and i couldn't do it without you guys! Thank you, it really means a lot to know that I can turn to you guys anytime!
     
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  16. Kelly1988

    Kelly1988 Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2019
    Buffalo


    EM and M are also sold in crystal form and I think that is what is being referred to......seems to be just a small misunderstanding of which state the EM is in. I think.

    :)[/QUOTE]
    I did order new EM and tfa sweetener ( I think that has suclarose and EM) and some capella super sweet. I think I'm set in that department.

    I also ordered capella strawberry and cream concentrate along with flavorah and tfa strawberry and cream. I read some info that those can be Vaped alone but I'm sure I'll do some adjusting.

    Slowly but surely I will get the hang of it. It's so simple, it's just understanding what each flavor tastes like or what it can be paired with and which percentages work.

    I found a diy flavor concentrate percentage guide so I am checking that out as well!
     
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  17. jandrew

    jandrew Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    Winnipeg
    Indeed, crystal form is how I've always bought mine and make my own 10% solution in either PG or 50:50 PG/VG. And, unlike others, I use it often in low percentages (I like the body / mouth-feel it can add to minimally flavored liquids).
     
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  18. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    Sure is a tough crowd in here tonight... can't even get 1 smile? In case ya all was wondering j/k means just kidding.

    LOL
     
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  19. Katya

    Katya ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Feb 23, 2010
    SoCal
    Expiration date is two years from date of manufacture when the Propylene Glycol USP is kept below 100F, out of direct sunlight ,in the original sealed drums.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know how it works in Greece, but here manufacturers of certain goods are required by law to include expiration/best by dates. Those dates usually reflect the time the manufacturers test their products (1 year, 2 years), and not necessarily the real time when a product truly expires. Same thing with medicines--they are tested for a year, so that date goes on the bottle. Most meds are perfectly fine after the expiration date; they may have lost some of their potency, but that's it. Besides, manufacturers want you to buy more stuff, so those short best by dates benefit them directly. ;) I probably wouldn't use a 10-year old antibiotic, but vitamins, supplements, aspirin, pain killers, PG, VG, etc. are perfectly fine long after their expiration dates.
     
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  20. CagedSpam

    CagedSpam Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 12, 2015
    FoPo, Oregon
    I didn't see anyone mention it or I missed it-- Different manufacturers also have varying accuracy of flavor.

    TFA never really made me happy when I started. It has been much easier FOR ME to get the flavor I wanted with Flavour Art (FA) ymmv. So many companies and they all have at least a few exceptional flavors.

    Oh btw Enjoy Your DIY Journey!
     
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