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Liquid Barn DIY noob questions

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by Cstober, Apr 16, 2018.

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  1. Cstober

    Cstober Moved On

    Jan 22, 2018
    There is so much info out there, it's hard to pin down exactly what I need so I apologize if I'm adding to the redundancy.

    I started DIY recently with a starter kit from Liquid Barn. I have a few specific questions if anyone is familiar.

    Firstly, I think I approached DIY incorrectly. I started with 'simple' recipes (IE strawberry + sweet + sour). While I had fun ideas for combinations, the five 4.5ml batches I mixed weren't bad but rather insignificant. Which leads me to my first question...

    1. Should I mix a small batch for each flavor I have? In other words, solo flavor batches to get an idea of each flavoring on its own?

    This is something that I didn't anticipate until after the fact, I can't differentiate specific flavors in these small batches. Is this because I don't understand the root of each flavor?

    Perhaps I just answered my own question but that leads me to my second question...

    2. Liquid Barn has suggested percentages for each flavoring listed on each bottle.
    IE: Strawberry 8%
    Does this mean Strawberry in a solo flavor batch is recommended to be 8%, or does this mean this Strawberry in any recipe is recommended to be 8%?

    This is confusing to me. I'm not sure of good starting points for each flavor, at least when I'm using 2-3 flavors.

    And my last question is for easier mixing/testing...

    3. I've been mixing 4.5ml batches by weight to reduce waste. I've been looking into the 100DT method but I'm curious, if anyone is familiar with this: typically how big does the batch turn out with this method? I would prefer 4-5ml, even lower than that would be ideal. I believe I will exclude Nic for this method.

    Additionally I've ordered many 4ml flavoring vials from TFA and I would like to preserve these as much as possible when testing.

    Thanks for reading.
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  2. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    Speaking for myself, DIY can come down to a lot of trial and error.

    I started out first by researching for specific recipes that I thought that I might like to mix. ELR (e-liquid recipes) is a website that you can search for a predominant flavor (ie Strawberry) and the search results may give a dozen or more recipes that includes Strawberry as the predominant flavor.

    I found that Bull City Vapor has a comment section that may help you to choose between different flavor suppliers. For example, experienced DIY have found that some flavor manufacturers make a better "candy" strawberry while others make a strawberry that tastes more like the strawberry fruit.

    I use an online recipe calculator to make my base e-liquid (concentrated nic/pg/vg). I can then make my base ahead of time, and then mix my recipe with flavors later. So, when trying a new recipe I may only create a 10ml sample batch. If I like it, I'll make 30 - 60 ml for my next batch.

    Going back to that "trial and error" comment I made, only about 2 - 3 recipes out of 10 turned out like I expected/hoped they would turn out to be. I'm not saying they were bad recipes, but just like with commercial liquids, taste is very subjective.

    Be sure to keep specific and detailed notes on your experiments. And label each bottle made.
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  3. dc99

    dc99 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 17, 2014
    1. Its always a good idea to understand each flavor. We call that flavor testing. Most start at 5% for testing. Sometimes I mix a few at different % for testing. Alaways good to know where a flavor is best at and where it tops out. There is a point where more doesnt equal stronger. Take notes. They will come in handy in the future.
    2. That is a general %. Not necessarily the best but it can be a starting point. It means for single flavor. In a mix it could be more or less.
    3. 4-5ml by weight is my method. If you vape a high nic then it could affect flavor.
    A good rule is sweet and sour dont work together.
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  4. JCinFLA

    JCinFLA Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 21, 2015
    1.) I never do solo flavor testing.

    2.) Recommended % IMO are for using it in a single flavor eliquid. The only flavorings I ever do singly...are the One Stop Flavors and One Stop Blends from OneStopDIYShop. They're already made up of flavorings mixed/blended together when you buy them. So they're ready to add singly to your own plain PG, plain VG, and nic base.

    3.) I've always done Bill's 100DTT for any/all new recipes I try. After tweaking them to my liking...I usually have between 3.5-4.5mL, depending on which pipettes or blunt needle tips on syringes I've used for the test. I do use nic base in the test, too, not just flavorings, plain PG, and plain VG. I want my 100DTT sample to be an exact miniature of what I'll be making in bigger batches later. To me...without using the nic base, I won't know exactly how it will taste in those larger batches with nic base. My nic may affect the overall taste.

    ETA: Also, that little sample I've made never goes to waste. I just add it to the bigger batch after I make it. Since I follow my tweaked recipe to make it...both are identical.
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  5. BrotherBob

    BrotherBob ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Dec 24, 2014
    Yes, I mix 3mls.
    It's a starting point. You are young and probably have excellent taste buds, mine are terrible (age/decades of smoking), so depending on the flavor, I almost always boost the recommend 1-4% average. If you are not sure, you can visit e liquid recipes and view their percentage recommended average and median for single (standalone) and mixed flavors. If I find a single flavor particularly good/strong/etc, I note it for the next time I use it in a mix. Most of my flavors have been individually tested and rated for strength and taste.
    For me, 3 ml. for single mix or depending on the flavors 2-3 in a mix. For 3 or more ingredients, 5 mls only because most of my flavors are PG cut and I need a way to increase VG (have PG allergy). If you can go 100% PG (promotes taste), for me, 3mls is more than enough to get a feel that your on to something.
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  6. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I started with single flavors. It was just easier for me to figure out my "building" blocks. One shots are different, and they may be a good way to get started with something "vapable" (many don't need much steeping).

    Usually a recommended flavor starting point would be the flavor alone, I think. My (more complex) recipes don't usually go much over 8% total. But, flavors also need "balancing" so I may use much less of one favor than another (depending on individual strength) to form a "complete" mix. I have not tested EVERY SINGLE flavor I have individually, but as I got to know enough flavor blocks, steeping times for various flavors, and etc., and after doing a lot of taste testing of commercial juices to "get to know" my flavoring styles, and the "usual" concentrate strength of the various flavor manufacturers by now, I have a decent shot of getting things "right" because I started slowly and I now know how I react to flavors. In my last batch of 11 self-created recipes, there was only one that needed heavy modification (it was overflavored significantly) well, in the process of learning, amending, and changing flavors, well, the skills kind of generalize on themselves. The one that needed dilution wasn't unbalanced or even "bad" tasting, I just overestimated the amount of flavoring I'd need for that flavor. I'd imagine if it was commercial juice, well, someone might like it.

    But, as you DIY, your tastes change. I keep my flavoring percentages low and am a "reluctant" sweetener. Since I know my flavor profiles (what I like, what I tend to hate) well, that makes things easier. As does amending things as necessary, that can teach a great deal too.

    But wherever you start, just remember that learning is a process that builds on itself. I set very low expectations for myself early on, as I really didn't want to feel that "DIY" was impractical for me. It's not. It (just like cooking) required me to arm myself with as much knowledge as I could, and then develop a process (for myself). Some folks start with premade recipes and that's fine too. Just start where it seems like it would be best for you, keep going and keep asking questions. Etc.

    Best of luck,

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  7. Cstober

    Cstober Moved On

    Jan 22, 2018
    I said it before and I'll say it again...

    ECF is extremely helpful & friendly
    (I'd say one of the last non-toxic parts of the web remaining lol)

    I'm going to simplify my DIY and try sampling 3ml batches of individual flavors. So excited for a day off with my new flavor kits!

    Thanks all.
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  8. IDJoel

    IDJoel Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    I couldn't agree with you more!:D

    A big part of it is the forum participants themselves. Not just their knowledge, and their willingness to help; but also their willingness to abide in the basic rules, and behave like grown-ups.

    The other equally big part of it is the forum administration and moderators. The community does a pretty good job of policing ourselves; but if an individual pushes a boundary too far, the mods & admin are quick to step in, and keep this a great place.

    This is a great community; and I feel lucky to be part of it. So many folks here, have provided the bulk of my own vaping education, and I am ever grateful. They have set a great example; and it is up to each of us to carry it on.:)
    I think that is a great plan. The only thing I might add (though it has already been said); is to test with an open mind... no expectations.

    I think both @BrotherBob, and @stols001, have described the majority of flavor concentrates as building blocks. I use salt everyday when I cook. I am not a fan of eating it by itself; but knowing what it tastes like, how potent it is, and what it does for other foods, helps me to use it more wisely.

    If you look at your upcoming experiments in a similar manner; you are more likely to have a positive outcome. Try not to expect any of them to be "good" all by themselves; try not to think "this concentrate is called (blank); so it should taste this particular way." Avoiding these mindsets, helps to avoid disappointment, and a feeling of failure. (Though I should note; that sometimes individual concentrates can be pleasant, and perfectly vapeable, all by themselves. But, consider this a "bonus," and not the expected norm.)

    Instead; taste with no expectations at all. Ask yourself: "what am I tasting?" "What are the concentrate's strongest notes?" "What is it lacking?" "What do I like about it?" "What do I dislike about it?" "What might make it better?" What might it be good with?" "What does it remind me of?" All of these questions (and whatever else you can think of) will help you to understand how you might best use that particular concentrate.

    And; write down your thoughts! Having notes to refer back to is invaluable.As your concentrate library grows, you will have concentrates that you may not revisit for a year (or more!). Having notes can save you a bunch of time and re-testing, when you are trying to figure out which of those eight lemon concentrates you have, that will be best for the recipe you are trying to build.;)

    Don't forget about the roll time plays in DIY. DO NOT change your original samples for at least a couple of weeks (a month would be even better). Wait to see if, and what, some simple aging will do to a concentrate.

    I have seen, or read about, more DIY beginners getting discouraged, and giving up; all because they were trying to do too much, too fast. Leave tweaking, adjusting, combining, and speed steeping, for after you have a basic understanding of what you are working with.

    I hope you have a great experience!:D
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