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Failing miserably at DIY and smoking instead. E cig too harsh.

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by vapesmooth123, Mar 4, 2018.

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  1. DavidOck

    DavidOck ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Only if you breath. :)
    • Funny Funny x 2
  2. vapesmooth123

    vapesmooth123 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2016
    maybe someone else cares, so,
    I sent an email to nature's flavors asking if there's any way I can get their alcohol based flavors somehow with less alcohol or a method to mute the alcohol (they're basically just flavor compound powders in an alcohol base, but when I asked previously if they could custom make it as a VG-only base it was like a $600 minimum fee for custom creation).

    They have a few lines which are just diacetyl-free flavor compounds and ethyl alcohol (safe to vape), and some have a bit of VG added. The actual flavor compounds are the same throughout those lines. Some lines have less flavor ratio in it hence the cheaper price like the heat stable flavors without diacetyl have more alcohol than the other similar lines, so obviously not what I want for this application.
    Some lines have citric acid, gum acaia etc which is not to be used for vaping NF has told me and I read this elsewhere too.

    What's interesting though is how I found out earlier that citric acid can make juice/nic salt smoother. But they don't have citric acid in the organic diacetyl free flavor lines.

    I think it's quite obvious ECB uses NF since they copy pasted this from NF's site:

    "These water-soluble recipe flavorings are Certified Organic, All-Natural, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten Free, and contain No Allergens.
    These flavors have no nutritional value as used in this application are calorie, carb, and sugar free. There is no fat. Enjoy.
    Flavoring Ingredients: Organic and Natural Flavors, Vegetable Glycerin, and Natural & Organic Ethyl Alcohol* (Ethyl Alcohol is a base in the flavoring, it is not an additive by ECB*) There is no sugar in these e-liquids."

    And ECB sells the following e juice organic natural diacetyl-free flavors, and the only source I could find for these flavors anywhere online are from NF (or Best Flavor or SelectTea which are NF sister sites):
    Organic diacetly-free alcohol-based gooseberry, cantaloupe, pomegranate, japanese plum = could not find anywhere besides Nature's Flavors. can't even find most of those as PG based.

    So It's quite obvious ECB uses NF.

    what I think is ECB knows of a good way to mute the alcohol flavor by steeping or other method without adding anything to it like 'smooth agent' (which is an acid similar to nic salt) or water. ECB says they don't add anything like that.

    I simply have to do more research and tests on trying to mute the harsh alcohol flavor. I've already tried the following main methods though with no positive result:
    leaving cap off flavor bottle for a few days/week(s) to evaporate alcohol but it made no difference.
    Submerged glass flavor bottles in warm water bath with and without cap on to mellow out the alcohol but it didn't change.
    Also it seems far-fetched that ECB would go through the trouble of something like this in case they ran out and needed to keep inventory in stock.

    What I'm not sure of though if I tried it yet is steep the complete mixed juice with nicotine for over a few weeks or longer. That might be what ECB does. It's strange that ECB has never sold their Strawberry in this line as 0mg unlike all other flavors can be had in 0mg, and 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg. Minimum for strawberry is 3mg for some reason. Maybe the people there who figured out a method to mute the alcohol flavor had a preference for strawberry and vaped it regularly and decided to for some reason not pre-steep it as 0mg (maybe they thought it just tasted too off without nicotine for some reason).

    In other words, maybe with an alcohol based flavor, if you steep it for a long time using regular cheap freebase nicotine (which I'm sure ECB uses just regular cheap freebase), it actually makes the nic (and alcohol) get smoother as it steeps and oxidizes vs using more common PG flavors, the nicotine eventually gets too peppery/harsh.

    I'm going to try Real Flavors VG-based, and maybe that's all I ever needed to do. Plus the nude nicotine salt should be basically throat hit-less and solve that part of it (or I should just steep my juice using regular freebase which I almost never did for longer than a couple weeks). I have to experiment with different methods.

    Seems strange that with the millions of vapors, there aren't more PG-free flavors been figured out.
    Alcohol is known to be a harsh base (more than PG perhaps) but I'm telling you, the ECB is sooo smooth even though it's an alcohol base and even with a decent mg level (like 8-12) in a cloud tank.

    Ultimately I'm aiming to make something BETTER than ECBs. Not only am I not going to buy juice for ~$10 30ml if I can make it for ~30 cents, and also I've been DIY'ing for like 4 years and not giving up.

    I just have to hope if I give up on the alcohol based flavors (NF) because I can't figure a way to mute them, that I can find a similar or hopefully better VG-based banana flavor because the flavor compounds in the ECB banana is probably my favorite banana I've tried (all the others were PG based I'm not too crazy about all but 1, and 1 is CO2-extracted medicine flower but I'm not crazy about the Medicine Flower one [although I haven't steeped it]).

    Another method might be to steep just the alcohol based flavors in VG, like a %50/%50 ratio might be what eventually mutes the alcohol. But that makes it complicated on ECB's part because they DO have an option to add Extra Flavor, so that would mean they'd have to have separate jugs of this pre mixed VG + Flavor in different ratios for example 50/50 VG/Flavor when someone asks for extra flavor and 30%flavor %70 VG if someone asks for without extra flavor. Seems like a lot of jugs to have lying around just for a small non-popular e juice line though.

    But I do think ECB is some how pre-steeping these flavors in VG, or somehow evaporating the alcohol because they don't offer these flavors with PG at all because it's probably too harsh with PG.

    So next is just wait for my nic salt to arrive, that should solve that, and then read up on more methods of using alcohol based flavors and steeping methods, but the Real Flavor VG-based might be the most preferred also (waiting on those too). Then I'll be back to having juice I actually enjoy vaping, and I'll be down to 1 cig a month or less.
    Have a bunch of MTL and DTL tanks coming too to replicate as mentioned I really enjoyed simply small MTL puffs with a protank 2 (just received another)with ECB, but I also like cloud tanks.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  3. vapesmooth123

    vapesmooth123 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2016
    Well it turns out that steeping likely really is the key to making good, smooth juice. I've tried steeping and didn't think I noticed much difference but I might have not steeped long enough or in the right temperature etc, or I simply need to maybe add a bit of a creamy flavor to the banana because I do sort of taste a slight coconut or cream (smooth) or something with ECBlends banana flavor when used in a DTL cloud tank.

    It's not going to be quick and easy to prefect DIY for how I want smooth flavor and big vapor but luckily I do think my favorite flavor from ECBlend (banana) has room for improvement anyway, so much that I'm not too crazy about it in an DTL tank vs it tastes much better in a MTL tank which is to be expected but nonetheless not an amazing vape in a DTL, IMO I think I will end up making something I like better, sort of like a like banana runts or banana Italian ice I'm aiming for.

    The ECB is the best banana I've tried in an MTL vs about 7 other PG-based banana flavors but I still have to try a few other alcohol or VG-based banana flavors along with adding hints of cream/smooth flavor, and one of the PG-based ones tasted very promising and I don't think I even steeped it. There are plenty of DIY steeping and mixing methods I need to try. Label each method and not get confused and do side-by-side comparisons.

    I'm not gonna try tricking ECB into finding their flavor source or mixing method anymore. They pretty much won't even reply to my messages anymore lol even though I think I'm entitled to my last question if citric acid is used in the line I was asking about.

    I don't think ECB or anyone else removes caps from alcohol-based flavors to 'breathe' them to evaporate alcohol (or similar affect with PG flavors) before it's sold. (I've tried that for weeks with the cap off of the flavor concentrate and didn't notice much difference anyway).
    I don't think they'd be allowed to store open bottles of juice for long unless they had a dedicated large dust-free environment which is possible but I just don't think they do that. The whole mixing lab is supposed to be low-air-particulate environment but I just don't think they leave caps off for extended periods. I will still try some cap-off methods though. EDIT, below video as noted he says they are allowed to have open juice in dust-free zone but doesn't mean small companies are leaving caps off to evaporate alcohol based flavors. FWIW, Real Flavors told me their VG-based flavors actually have a tiny bit of alcohol as per the Spec Sheet links but that they use heat to try and remove most of it.

    So basically, from the videos below (and there are tons more) I've never seen these types of videos, but e juice companies are showing a lot of 'secrets' IMO.

    First obvious one is most dilute their flavors in VG right away and store in those big jugs. Some add the nic at that point, some may not. So cutting alcohol (or PG) based flavors with VG right away and steeping that for a while should add smoothness and/or round off flavors.

    Some videos they specifically say or at least hint that they don't do anything else except shaking and then steeping with the cap on - (no added heat, or cap-off, or chemical additives etc). That one video though from Pbusrado at the giant manufacturing facility which makes juice for tons of different brands, the guy says he puts a lot into proprietary R&D with chemists to perfect steeping and flavoring - who know what they do though could be adding sketchy unnecessary chemicals etc.

    It does make it a bit complicated for a small unpopular company like ECBlend to pre mix anything vs simply mixing the 3 or 4 ingredients (flavor, nic, VG/PG) to-order like using a regular e juice calculator.

    I doubt ECB have premixed big jugs of ALL available nicotine levels (pre-steeped WITH nicotine instead of just with VG-diluted flavor base).
    They offer 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12, 18, 24 and 36. Multiplied by about 65 flavors in their organic line, that's 455 big premixed jugs to store away just for that VG-based line - extremely unlikely. Even though strawberry is the only flavor out of 65 in that line that they don't offer in 0mg, I don't think they pre mix and store 455 jugs. But maybe the do presteep with nic the more popular flavors and mg levels.

    They probably just add the nic when ordered and have the flavor pre diluted in VG but still in a very concentrated flavor to VG ratio used for mixing.

    In simple: if you order 0mg, they just add VG to the pre-diluted (somewhat steeped) VG+alcohol based flavor mix.
    If you order 0mg 'Extra flavor', they just add a bit less straight VG to the pre diluted flavor

    If you order 36mg, about 1/3 of the bottle would be 100mg nicotine, and they might still add the diluted (in VG) flavor base at a slightly higher ratio than a 0mg order just to help mask the 36mg taste, even if extra flavor isn't asked for which would mean even more flavor mix is added.

    Most juice has a born-on date but I don't know if that simply means when it was packaged into a 30ml for you. It may be pre-steeped with (or without) nicotine at the initial diluting (flavor + VG) stage, and therefore technically already born before the born-on date.

    I'm probably over thinking this. Just gotta steep different methods. And try heat and whatever tricks I find others DIY'ers are using. I'm going to enjoy the process.


    I just received nic salt from Nude nicotine, and it's not as smooth as I expected. I previously bought nicotine river salt which says it's Benzoic-free unlike the others, which is sort or a sketchy additive but is what helps smooth out the harshness along with other acids that nicotine river and the others do add to reduce pH. I wasn't blown away by either brand's salt in terms of smoothness, but to be honest I just dumped the nude nicotine salt in a 30ml and eyeballed it about 20mg in a single fused Clapton RDA is a ton of nicotine delivery (harsh), and I didn't steep it whatsoever. I just wanted to see if the harshness is extremely muted with nic salt hence I mixed about 20mg.

    Only 6mg in a MTL (not a lot of vapor) with mostly pre-bought juice had me down to 1 cigarette a month and honestly preferring vaping anyway. A smoker asked me about it and was trying to convince me 'nothing like the real thing (cigarettes)" but I was just thinking the whole time he just doesn't get it that vaping is much more satisfying and preferred anyway. That was a sort of in between stage when I was just vaping 10mg flavorless in a tiny 1.8 ohm pin-hole airflow RDA and was still down just 1 cig a month. But I missed the flavors and started mixing again but failed at it.
    Now I use cloud tanks/RDAs (waiting for kayfun RTA though I'm excited for), so I should lower mg with cloud attys anyway to around 1-3mg considering the delivery of that vs a 6mg MTL I was happy with.

    Anyway, yea as per these videos, it's quite obvious most if not all premix at least the flavor with VG. It's not what I though that they just do it like a DIY person by receiving and order and then mixing everything (flavor straight from the bottle from the manufacturer, and then the VG/PG and then the nic and then send it out).
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. vapesmooth123

    vapesmooth123 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2016
    18 minute mark shows premixed/steeped WITH nicotine:

    Actually, edit, they might be allowed to leave caps off bottles to evaporate alcohol etc as he says around 18:25 in the dust-free zone. I will try cap-off in conjunction with other steeping methods (temperature, heat, patience, etc) but I don't think ECB or anyone really leaves the caps off, and this guy doesn't say it as though they are leaving juice out in the open to evaporate anything. This is the major manufacturer which I don't think even has their own brand label, they just produce for many other major brand

    • Like Like x 1
  5. vapesmooth123

    vapesmooth123 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2016
    this brand looks like it mixes (nothing pre-steeped or diluted, flavors look to be unaltered straight from the flavor company) and then puts final bottles in a 27C/80F bath for 30mins (or maybe two or more cycles), which isn't a high temperature, but maybe is done for good reason.

    Here around 6:12 can see on the back shelf what looks like Capella's flavor labels, and previously around 4:48 says glass jugs on tables are "mixed flavors 0mg", so I think they at least presteep the flavor in VG (the glass jugs aren't un VG-diluted flavors straight from the flavor manufacturer).

    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. vapesmooth123

    vapesmooth123 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2016
    pre steeped WITH nic before you order

    just thought I'd mention this since it's strange why anyone would ADD alcohol to juice except maybe to alcohol-extract DIY flavors, you can see around 1:46 on the bottom shelf near the one blue gallon jug are a bunch of jugs of Everclear 190 proof %95 grain alcohol (from liquor store):

    There are tons more of videos like these and most have a few hints and tricks here and there
    • Useful Useful x 1
  7. vapesmooth123

    vapesmooth123 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2016
    Basically what threw me off from the start about steeping DIY was I always thought when I ordered juice from ECBlend (or Virgin Vapor or johnson creek I tried once or twice but those are the only pre-made juices I ever bought), I always though they just mixed it about a week before I receive my mail, but it was smooth.

    There was talk years ago about buying/finding "pre-steeped juice", but it seems most juice IS already pre-steeped. And/or pre heated or other methods of smoothening it, especially alcohol-based.

    I just have to steep for longer, I don't think I've done 3-weeks or even 2. I was always afraid the nicotine would start getting more and more harsh as it steeped. I immediately put my 100mg in the freezer and barely have the cap open when taking some to mix with.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  8. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't think nicotine is going to get harsher during the steeping period, it should "blend" with everything else and get smoother.

    Nicotine harshness, you really have to work for, like using elderly nicotine 2 years old left in a warm environment, etc.

    Not steeping enough is pretty similar to steeping too long, but for many juices, that might run you into over a year. I think you are slightly too concerned about your nicotine being harsh. Juices are designed to be steeped, and for many months (sometimes longer even) they're fine after that.

    If you don't steep the nicotine may be MORE harsh (and certainly, more tasteable, as it hasn't had time to blend with the flavors and other ingredients.

    Aim for something more "middle ground" I'd say....

  9. mcclintock

    mcclintock Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2014
    Could be for cleaning. Wouldn't want any isopropyl getting in ejuice, for sure!
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