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Nic Base Storage: Freezer vs. Room Temp Experiment

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by Rossum, Mar 5, 2017.

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  1. Rossum

    Rossum "Chump" Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    Although it's common knowledge that the optimal way to store nic base is in glass, with minimal head space, in the freezer, a repeated theme in some of the "stocking up" threads has been that some folks either don't have a freezer at all, or aren't willing to keep their nic base in whatever freezer they do have for various reasons. The question that then arises is: How much difference does it temperature really make? Although I have a dedicated freezer for my nic base, I decided it would be interesting to find out. So...

    Yesterday, I dug a couple of bottles of nic base out of my freezer. I bought this nic back in April of 2014 (when the Deeming Reg proposal was first published). It came in #1 PET plastic bottles. Since I had not yet started DIY'ing and didn't yet have my own freezer, I stuck them in my wife's big chest freezer "for a rainy day", where they got buried and more-or-less forgotten about. We found them again 2-1/2 years later and they got moved to my freezer with the rest of the nic I'd accumulated in the meanwhile. Given that it was in plastic rather than glass, I was worried that this nic would no longer be any good, so I decided to mix up a batch of my usual unflavored base with it and was pleasantly surprised that the nic was just fine.

    Anyway, the nic being used in this experiment is a month shy of 3 years old. WL claims to argon-purge their nic, which probably helps, but the dark brown bottles it was in aren't suitable for repeated evaluation of color changes over time, and besides, most people re-bottle their nic in glass prior to storage, so I decided I would re-bottle this in a couple of clear class bottles with polycone caps. Here it is, fresh from the freezer yesterday:


    I let it come to room temperature overnight, and today, I rebottled it in the clear glass bottles:


    As you can see, it has just a slight tinge of straw color.

    The bottle marked "F" is now back in my freezer, while the bottle marked "RT" is on a shelf, at room temperature, in a tin box (to keep out light) with a bunch of other e-liquid.


    I'll be back to update this thread periodically. My intention is to take pics of the two bottles side-by-side every few months to see whether the one being kept at room temperature changes (darkens) more than the one being kept in the freezer.
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  2. dannyv45

    dannyv45 ECF DIY E-Liquid Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    I will be very interested to see your results. The milestone points should be 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.
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  3. gnees

    gnees Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Mar 31, 2014
    Harleysville Pa.
    Thanks for the test. I am very interested on the outcome of this also.

    Liberty Vapor, good juice shop. We must be close.:thumbs:
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  4. Rossum

    Rossum "Chump" Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    Yep, I was thinking along the same lines, but.. This experiment is being conducted in PA and I abscond to Florida for extended periods with some regularity, so the milestones will have to occur when I'm actually here.
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  5. Rossum

    Rossum "Chump" Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    Yep, we are. I'm in Upper Gwynedd Township.
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  6. Eskie

    Eskie ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 6, 2016
    I'm sure there will be some color change, certainly in the RT bottle (I notice it in my little 30 ml 100 mg nic bottle I keep in my flavorings stash to have around for mixing. What would be really interesting would be to not only look at the difference in color, but actually measure the nic concentration to see if there's any difference over time. It's a pretty simple pH titration test, and I think WL even sells an inexpensive kit for it.
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  7. B2L

    B2L Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jan 14, 2012
    Jacksonville, FL
    Subscribed and following, will keep mine in the freezer either way but interested to see the difference.
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  8. Rossum

    Rossum "Chump" Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    I may do that at the very end (whenever that is) but I'd like to let this run for at least a year without opening the bottles, since opening the bottles periodically to withdraw samples would allow fresh air (and oxygen) in.
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  9. puffon

    puffon Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2014
    Thanks for the testing!
    Where did you find the white cap shrink seal?
    I've been using plumbers Teflon tape.
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  10. Dubminer

    Dubminer Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 10, 2016
    Small world, i am near Phoenixville.
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  11. Rossum

    Rossum "Chump" Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    It's not shrink seal; it's white electrical tape, two wraps, pulled nice and tight. I keep it around because it's easy to write on using a Sharpie and it comes off glass surfaces relatively cleanly. I like to re-use my glass bottles without having to use a strong solvent to remove the adhesive residues that most label materials leave behind.

    In this case, it's primarily a reminder to me not to open the caps willy-nilly.
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  12. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    Thanks for putting in the effort Rossum
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  13. I'mnotZak

    I'mnotZak Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Very interested in the progress and eventual outcome. Well done Rossum and thank you!
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  14. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Thanks, Rossum! This will be interesting. I'm one who has procrastinated in getting my nic rebottled and into the freezer. It's still water clear after about 6 months away from light in the original bottle, FWIW.

    I agree that it should be frozen for long life and usability. My two liters is projected to last 18 years at my projected usage rates at 3%.
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  15. ChelsB

    ChelsB Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 12, 2016
    Thank you for this thread that is surely helpful to many

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. Parth

    Parth Full Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    Liberty is great, as is volition vapor over in Roslyn. I work in Horsham so I usually go to one of the two haha.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
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  17. mattiem

    mattiem ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Very interesting thread. Thank you Rossum.
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  18. Tamer El-Meehy

    Tamer El-Meehy Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    Cairo, Egypt, Egypt
    Great Idea. Thanks Rossum.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  19. Rossum

    Rossum "Chump" Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    Update, two weeks in:

    I pulled the bottle that was in the freezer and it immediately picked up a thin layer of frost. I didn't want to want to leave out any longer than necessary to snap a pic, so it does look frosty. Nonetheless, it's quite apparent that there's a color difference between them. The camera and lighting conditions do exaggerate the difference a bit compared to what I see with my eyes, but even with the naked eyeballs, this difference is quite apparent.


    ETA: You can also see how much the "frozen" nic has contracted if you compare the level in this pic to the level in the pic in the first post.
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  20. KentA

    KentA Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 5, 2015
    Adirondack Mountains
    That was quick.
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