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Ready to Mix!

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by Fidola13, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. Letitia

    Letitia Nano Junkie ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 2, 2017
    West Frankfort, IL
    I don't think Anna mixed the actual singles in her tank. I believe she experimented with combining already mixed singles together in tank. For example I play with my orange testers layering them in my tanks.
     
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  2. Beamslider

    Beamslider Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 29, 2017
    San Francisco
    Yeah don't mix in the tank....Not going to turn out well. Just mix small batches 10 or 15 ML and taste them at spaced intervals. say like 2 days, 5 days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks.

    Since you are mostly dealing with fruit flavors, they aren't likely to change much if at all after 1 week or 2 weeks. Some tobacco and custards and creamy blends can take several weeks though.
     
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  3. Letitia

    Letitia Nano Junkie ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 2, 2017
    West Frankfort, IL
    Orange and some brands of strawberry do need a longer steep. My orange mixes are much better at the 4-6 week mark.
     
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  4. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Sorry for the confusion. I mixed and steeped samples, tasted THEM singly in my tank, and THEN combined flavors (that were already mixed) in my tank. Sorry about that, no I never mixed JUST in my tank, things need to steep and etc. Also a tank is so small it would be impossible to mix precisely INTO one. No, that wouldn't work at ALL.

    Anna
     
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  5. Fidola13

    Fidola13 Prepper Verified Member

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    Dec 20, 2017
    Boston
    Gotcha
     
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  6. Fidola13

    Fidola13 Prepper Verified Member

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    Dec 20, 2017
    Boston

    That’s what I did. I used half the quantity to make 15ml. Just in case it comes out crappy. Don’t want to waste ingredients.
     
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  7. Letitia

    Letitia Nano Junkie ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 2, 2017
    West Frankfort, IL
    I don't add nic to testers I'm unsure of or I know I won't like. I skip singles on some flavors I know I'll enjoy but do testers for my background note flavors so I don't overuse in a recipe.
     
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  8. go_player

    go_player Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Mar 2, 2012
    USA
    Ah, that makes a lot more sense than what I was picturing, and I can see how it would work to get a quick read on how things work together.

    I still think it’s probably not what I’d personally recommend, though clearly it worked for you, and might work great for others. The reasons have to do with steeping (an inaccurate term, but one we’re pretty much stuck with now.)

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about steeping, partially because the way juice changes over time surprised me when I started seriously trying to mix. It didn’t match my mental model of how things ought to work, so clearly I was misunderstanding some important things about how flavoring in juice works. There are still a lot of questions I have about it that could really only be resolved by real research with specialized equipment, but I do think I understand steeping better now.

    I think steeping in general is an almost entirely physical process (as opposed to being a matter of chemical reactions.) And it has two main components.

    The first happens pretty quickly, and is just certain unpleasant volatiles escaping the juice. I’m not a big fan of breathing juice, but this is what breathing accelerates. On this score mixing two steeped flavors in a tank is fine- both solutions will have already given up those volatiles.

    The second is about how uniform the solution is, at fine scales (and just how fine those scales need to be for different molecules is one of those questions I still have. In fact a lot of the questions I still have are related to why some flavors need to steep less than others.)

    When you mix two steeped testers together you don’t get what you would if you had freshly mixed their ingredients and not steeped them at all. But you also don’t get what you would get if you had mixed them together at the beginning and let them steep together. In a very real sense you kind of reset the steeping process when you mix steeped juices with each other. I’ve played a bit with this idea when trying to combine flavors that need a long steep with flavors that fade (like many lemons.)

    I suspect that how important this is depends a great deal on the flavors involved, for reasons I won’t get into here, because I’m sure I’m already being annoyingly geeky about this.

    But the tldr is that, IMHO, while mixing two steeped juices might give you an impression of how their ingredients would interact, in a lot of cases it’s not going to be a very accurate impression. I’m pretty patient about juice these days, and I get lots of little bottles from China for pennies each, and just mix the combinations I want to test, and wait for them.
     
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  9. Letitia

    Letitia Nano Junkie ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 2, 2017
    West Frankfort, IL
    Lemon vapes are quite the challenge. I haven't found a way to stabilize the lemon for a longer steep. May just have to mix all but lemon and add after the steep.
     
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  10. go_player

    go_player Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Mar 2, 2012
    USA
    Yeah. Some lemons seem to hold up better than others, but even given that those lemons might not be the lemons I want for something. I’ve experimented with “staged steeping” a bit, and though my experience with it is limited, it is enough to tell me that it works, and that you can get juice from it you couldn’t get in any other way.

    But it’s getting into pretty fussy territory. I enjoy that kind of fussiness as an experiment, but it’s a bit too fussy for me to want to do as a routine. That said, if a particular lemon custard you can only really make that way is your dream vape it might well be worth it.

    The thing that distinguishes it from mixing two already mixed juices is that the lemon concentrate you add is a very small percentage of the total volume of the steeped juice you’re adding it to. I don’t think it would work well if you added pre-mixed lemon to a steeped custard base in approximately equal volumes.
     
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  11. Letitia

    Letitia Nano Junkie ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 2, 2017
    West Frankfort, IL
    Have a cream mix steeping and going to add lemons in a couple of weeks.
     
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  12. Doctorvapes

    Doctorvapes Super Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 8, 2017
    Congratulations. I just started mixing myself. My mixes are mostly simple but taste good, I ran into a problem where the flavor faded but it came back, got my second batch steeping. It's a lot of fun.

    The best advice I can give someone starting coming from someone who just started out is have patience.
     
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  13. go_player

    go_player Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Mar 2, 2012
    USA
    This is good advice. The other advice I’d give is “abandon pre-conceptions.” I thought mixing would be like cooking. It’s not really- it’s more like making perfume. I have a lot of experience cooking, and very little making perfume. Treating mixing like cooking just confused me and held me back at first.

    Ironically, some of the things I’ve learned from mixing have at least helped me understand food better. Why is a stew better the day after you make it? I think I understand that better (though not at all completely) after thinking about why juice improves with a steep.
     
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  14. IDJoel

    IDJoel Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    My offering to a new mixer might be:

    If a person is interested in getting the "best" flavor (and I understand that many only want something acceptable <the "Bud Lite/Coors Lite" consumers of e-liquid> without needing it to be "the best"... and I say that without any condescension to vapers, or beer drinkers, as I have had my share of Keystone lites:blush:); is to taste (by vaping) new mixes/flavors frequently, and over a significant period of time.

    After 4 years of DIYing, I have found for me, that commonly recommended aging times do not always work best (again) for me. The only way I have been able to learn what is my own personal "best window of flavor," is by repetitively tasting new mixes; from freshly mixed... to a month old (or more).

    I start by tasting immediately after mixing (by vaping ~½ to get familiar with it; and let it stabilize), and then daily for the first three days, and then weekly thereafter. Doing so, and jotting down my thoughts while tasting, permits me to learn how any given concentrate (in the case of single flavor mixes), and recipes, are going to work best... wait for it... me.

    In so doing, I have learned what I like as shake-n-vapes (SnV's), what needs a few days, what needs a week/weeks, and even what has "use by" dates (fade). Sometimes, these periods agree with general consensus, but sometimes not. Either way; I now know what my own personal "best" is.

    This incorperates ideas already shared:
    • Effort. I have found I get out of my DIY; what I put into my DIY. When I half-.... my mixes, I get half-arsed vapeable juice. When I invest the time/effort to understand and develop my ingredients, I get very satisfying results.
    • Openminded. When I allow a concentrate to go through the full "life cycle," I have a better (more complete?) idea how it may/may not affect my recipe.
    • Patience. With frequent sampling, I feel like I get the best of both worlds; I can discover those flavors that don't require any/much time, and also identify those that require/benefit from extra aging.
    Notes. I don't recall if this has been mentioned yet; but I have found it (notes) to be indispensable. As I have gotten older (in my 50's), and my memory gets worse (daily; it seems), writing things down seems to be the only way I can remember.

    It is great for recalling how a flavor may taste from session to session (especially helpful when changes are minimal). It is essential for recalling what my preferred percentages are. It is critical for flavor concentrates I only use on rare occasions (to have any clue how I used it).

    It doesn't matter how a person chooses to do it. Find what works best for you. I have read of folks using index cards, note books, Word docs, spreadsheets, etc. I have found what works best for me is the e-liquid calculator program I have settled on (JuiceCalculator by @HotRod19579). Besides being a traditional e-liquid calculator that handles my recipes, and tracks my inventory, it has the ability to record notes for recipes, as well as individual flavor concentrates. This allows me instant access to individual concentrate notes without having to remember which recipe the note is located in.:D

    Caveat for those shopping for an e-liquid calculator: JuiceCalculator is a truly free, fully functional calculator, that can measure up (in my opinion) to any of the other (paid or free) calculators that are available at this time, and I love it. HOWEVER... it is ONLY available for Windows platform devices (desktop. laptop, pad, phone), or those able to run Windows platform emulators.
     
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  15. CatCrazyGG

    CatCrazyGG Full Member

    Dec 28, 2017
    Houston, Texas
    EeenTeresting. Sounds complicated. Probably the same reason I've not advanced into the RDA thing after all these years. I can't do complicated. But, I commend you!
     
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  16. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I'd agree that combining flavors in the tank isn't as precise as steeping them together but it did give me starting points that I could go from.

    I don't think there's one "best" way to mix, everyone has their own methods and etc. It did make me able to "amend" most of my flavors as I went by having notes about how single flavors tasted (and in slight combination).

    DIY can be as extreme as you make it, or not. I enjoyed starting out the way I did but certainly it's not for everyone.

    Notes are really essential. I'd hate to make something I loved then not be able to replicate it. :)

    Anna
     
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  17. go_player

    go_player Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Mar 2, 2012
    USA
    Hmm... the thing is that it’s complicated in some ways, and less so in others. I’m a bit of an odd duck, I suppose, in that I really want to know why the phenomena I observe occur. It sort of gnaws at me when I don’t know, and trying to understand why steeping is important for juice has led me down some rabbit holes. Interesting rabbit holes.

    But what it does in the end come down to is that a stew tastes better the next day. You don’t have to deal with anything very complicated to observe that and make use of it. Rules of thumb make the world go round.
     
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  18. IDJoel

    IDJoel Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    Been there...

    ...................done that. :facepalm::-x:-x:-x:facepalm:
     
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  19. Fidola13

    Fidola13 Prepper Verified Member

    Supporting member
    Dec 20, 2017
    Boston
    I mixed several 10ml single flavors today as suggested by several people in this thread so I have a better idea of how to tweak my mixes.

    So far the recipes I’ve tried have been spot on and REALLY close to the original and what I’m expecting. But I want to “understand” the flavors better.

    So I’ll let them steep for a few days and try them out.

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and advice. I’m really enjoying this side of vaping.

    sara
     
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