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Testing the Strawberry and Cream. 7 day test of 6 week steep.

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by charlie1465, Aug 12, 2018.

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  1. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Ok so as promised recently i'm posting my experience of a recent SnV I mixed up from and adjusted Mother's Milk clone. The original recipe was...

    Bavarian Cream (FW) 3.00%
    Cream Fresh (FA) 3.00%
    Custard Flavour (FA) 2.00%
    Graham Crust (FA) 5.00%
    Juicy Strawberry (FA) 5.00%
    Lemon Sicily (FA) 1.00%
    Red Touch (Strawberry) (FA) 5.00%

    Fantastic straight off the shake but as I continued to use it as my ADV strange things started to happen. The strawberry became more and more muted until it was just a residue of a tangy kind of cloying note at the back of the inhale with no strawberry there. The creams and the GC were still nice though. It was vapeable but getting worse daily :grr:

    So...what to do. Taking some advice and ideas of my own I decided to mix up an adjusted recipe at much lower ratios to leave for a 6 week steep testing and reporting on a weekly basis. The adjusted mix was...

    Bavarian Cream (FW) 1.50%
    Cream Fresh (FA) 1.50%
    Custard Flavour (FA) 1.00%
    Dragonfruit (FA) 0.50%
    Graham Crust (FA) 1.50%
    Juicy Strawberry (FA) 2.50%
    Red Touch (Strawberry) (FA) 2.50%

    So we are getting there:banana: 7days dark drawer.

    Strawberry is coming through deep and strong well rounded flavour with quite a juicy mouthfeel. Its much like the previous recipe just after mixing which then turned nasty. So a good result there so far.

    The creams are much less prominent though so may need adjusting on a new mix. That's not for this one though as i'm sticking to the steeping experiment.

    So the main conclusions would be for me (new to mixing)
    1. Fruits can be there initially and then fade.
    2. Fruits may be covered by other flavours initially so a decent steep is recommended.
    3. Steeping essential in this case.
    4. Creams might take longer to build properly especially the Bav and the custard.
    5. Possible that the initial recipe was just over flavoured (I didn't try this one before 7 days so can't be sure it was working for the 1st week unlike the first).
    6. Overall i'm pleased with this but its not quite where I want it yet so we shall see what happens in another week.
    Hope this is of interest to someone.:D:thumbs:
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  2. stols001

    stols001 Moved On ECF Veteran

    May 30, 2017
    I find my Bavarian cream best at 90 days, which is a LONG steep, but well some flavors, it is what it is and etc.

    Glad it's working out well for you and sounds like you are having fun, by all means keep updating. :)

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  3. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Thanks Anna

    Yes all good here and early signs are on the other 6 steepers that there are no unvapeables.
    Jeez...90 days...looks like i'm going to end up pre steeping some creams for future mixes.

    If you pre steep your creams what % do you use?
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  4. stols001

    stols001 Moved On ECF Veteran

    May 30, 2017
    It depends on the cream I guess, and like, how you want to use it, it can get complicated I guess. Because you could mix it at a higher percentage and use less, if your overall PG/VG ratio is the same, or IDK really, I just sort of use around 3--4% because that's usually pretty near what I will use in a mix, and if it's any consolation well, I think the Bavarian cream is like the longest steeping one of all. I know other folks do it, too, so you could ask on one of the active DIY threads, I think they're called stones but I could be wrong.

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  5. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Ok so week two...Balancing nicely. Creams coming through more. Nice strawberry which has changed since last week. Definitely needs more steeping. Strawberry leaves a tang on the inhale at back of throat....this is reminiscent of the first mix. I think it may be the strawberry as they blend confusing the taste buds. It's definitely an unfinished WIP i think.
    Definitely needs more steeping. I'm sticking to my original ideas that there is no such thing as a shake and vape!! Every thing changes after a steep.
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  6. CagedSpam

    CagedSpam Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 12, 2015
    FoPo, Oregon
    Just throwing this out there - I find some FA flavors to be quite strong, you may be able to do another tester at even lower percentages. Eyeballing it I might try FW at 1% and cutting all the FA in half.

    Recipe sounds very yum, I hope you nail it.
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  7. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Interesting....I wouldn't have thought that this could have been cut in half again. Thanks for suggesting I may try this. I have some TPA bavarian also so may sub that in....but I don't know. I think the FW is kind of thinner so may be a better option.

    In a way simpler to halve everything as then I could just add to the original mix. If I do it i'll report back. :thumbs:
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  8. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Ok so here we go with week 3...21days. This is the minimum steep before vaping for this recipe. It's absolutely delicious. A lovely strawberry jammy inhale with hints of creamy custard and a creamy rounded finish on the exhale. Mouthfeel is robust without being too thick and the taste is very clean with no unpleasant notes. It has a nice almost peppery bite and throat hit which is nice if you are like me. This may smooth out some more with further steeping especially due to the presence of the bav cream and custard. I'm really pleased with how this has turned out but it could be perfect with a few more tweaks. The strawberry profile in particular as I think that the creamy custard note is near perfect.

    Feel free to have a go with this but don't even bother to vape it until it has had at least 21 days of steeping. :)
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  9. Izan

    Izan Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jul 1, 2012
    Mallorca, Spain
    Leave the STRWB/DF out of the recipe. Age 20 days, add the STRWB/DF and age 10 more days.
    It may give you the balance you are looking for.

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  10. IDJoel

    IDJoel Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    I was thinking along the same lines as @Izan.

    Many strawberry, as well as lemon, concentrates have a tendency to "fade" (lose flavor) over time (FA Lemon Sicily is particularly bad in my opinion). I can see where the cream base you have, could benefit from some extended aging; but you may also losing any contributions being made by the strawberries and lemon.

    I would leave those out until the final week of aging. Then add, shake, and give it a week's rest. It should then be ready to vape. I think you will find those flavors will have a much greater presence in the recipe that way. :)

    (NOTE: You can also get a similar result, by adding additional strawberry and lemon, to your aged mix. This can help to "revive" those fading flavor notes. But that, in my mind, is more of a band-aid fix. The initial inclusion is (more or less) going to waste. Save your inventory and add it toward the end. ;))
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  11. dc99

    dc99 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 17, 2014
    This is just my opinion and I am a big SB fan. I think the FA is over hyped. I rarely use it. I would sub it with a different SB.
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  12. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I would agree with this with my limited experience 4-5 months in. I'm definitely having trouble with my fruits fading. I always steep and test as I go...1 week 2 week and so on. The particular mix in question suffers less than most and has a reasonable strawberry profile even after a does fade/intermingle though. I have to say i'm not a fan of this add at the last minute idea although for obvious reasons it will work. IMO a mix should be able to stand up to the test of time....I don't remember any commercial juices that suffered when I was vaping those...although I am vaping a lot of completely different profiles. I use to vape some lemon profiles and tobacco like tribecca, torque 56, and loved jazzy boba.

    Are we saying here that if I buy a strawberry milk commercial juice and sit it on the shelf for a few weeks it will lose its strawb. profile in say 4-5 weeks??
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  13. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I'm begining to think that I am a problem strawberry taster. I d'ont have too many profiles yet..I have sweet st (Cap), red touch and juicy (FA)
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  14. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Another thing I seem to be getting a lot is taste problems. What I am doing at the moment is mixing a lot of 30ml testers of new recipes and then mixing a bit more when I find one that clearly stands out. But with all of them I find that I need a rest. So I start vaping it an whayever flavour is coming over really strongly but then after a couple of days i can't taste it properly anymore.

    I'm vaping a vaporesso cascade with the mesh coil at 0.2 ohms. I have been consciously been keeping my total flavour %'s low eg 15ish max but more often 10-11. I don't change or clean the coil (well rarely) and just vape the new mix until the profile comes through...Any thoughts??

    I have read a lot about this so know its a thing....seems to be a mixture of vapors tongue and tired taste buds.
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  15. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I can feel a few ''STONES'' coming on! :lol:
    Oh and by the way looks like some of you are commenting on the original recipe...look at the OP and there are 2. The last one is the steeping experiment!!
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  16. dc99

    dc99 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 17, 2014
    I think eveyrone is to a point. Im not a fan of adding stuff at different times either. It either works or it doesnt. Im also not a big fan of FA juicy sb. Its ok but it needs help from other sb's to become a decent sb. The most commonly used sb is a mixture of cap sweet sb and tfa sb ripe. Not to say that is the only sb stone. It is a go to sb stone. There are different ones for different situations thou. As your experience grows you will find that what is great in this situation just doesnt work in that one.
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  17. IDJoel

    IDJoel Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    That is a fair judgement (at least; to me). However, keep in mind, commercial offerings are often(?) mixed at very high (compared to current DIY trends) flavoring percentages, and using specific ingredients. Short of using identical ingredients, and percentages, it is unrealistic (to me) to expect the same results. Because neither suppliers, nor percentages are revealed (for obvious business reasons), it is not "unreasonable" to get different results. No?
    I am even more anal than that. I taste new/unfamiliar flavors (individually) immediately after mixing, at 24 hours, again at 3 days, and then weekly thereafter... until they seem (to me) to standardize, or diminish. This may not give me a true/complete picture of the concentrate's behavior; but it gives me a good basic (general?) understanding of how I might best prefer to use the flavor in question. Only then... can I better judge how I might be able to use them.
    I personally differentiate commingling/blending, and flavor fade. "Blending" is finding a stabilized, harmonious, balance... each individual flavor settles into a harmony with all the others. Verses "fade;" which is nothing more the the gradual, or sudden, loss of a specific/identifiable flavor note(s).

    Individual concentrates will likely behave differently. I can take six different strawberry, or lemon concentrates, and each can (likely?) behave differently... at least for my taste buds. Some might be "fresh," other's might be "candy" or even "artificial." Some hold steadfast; while others may quickly bloom, and then just as quickly fad away. Each concentrate is different.. at least to my
    cockamamie taste buds.:blush:
    And that is (at least in part) what you are paying for... the right concentrates, at the right percentages, to give you ( the consumer) a stable, enjoyable mix.

    If we could all do it, we would put the commercial e-liquid manufacturer out of business. Instead, we chase "better" (whatever that is; more pleasing, more complex, more accurate) taste. We decide what we are willing to sacrifice: convenience, cost, longevity, patience, ???.

    Often, though not always; commercial juice is based on high percentage-flavorings, that are both economical (aka. "cheap"), and simple (the fewer the ingredients the less complicated, and therefore the less costly to produce).

    High percentages appeal to current/new-ex smokers damaged taste buds(plates). They may be more stable/less prone to flavor fade.

    Simple(r) (aka. fewer) concentrates, lend themselves to more consistent results.

    If you follow an individual's mixing timeline (more often than not), you will find both a reduction in percentages required, as well as fewer ingredients called for. I attribute this to both a recovering palate; as well as a better understanding of the ingredients used.

    To me... it is like comparing a Southern Pit-Master, and a French Chef. Both are skilled; and yet can not replicate the other's results. Not, because one is better than the other. But, because each is skilled in their own ingredients, and preparation.

    Likewise; the skilled DIYer knows their concentrates, and what each requires (percentages, aging, durability).
    Those are two very different profiles... at least to me. Tobacco (or tobacco-forward) profiles are slow, steady, and again slow-to-fade, profiles. While (most) lemons are fast to bloom, and then, just as quickly to fade. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule.;)

    I have a tobacco concentrate that I like in as little as three days; and no more than 21 days (the most common/popular/repeated belief is "all" tobaccos require "at least" a month). While I haven't found a lemon that survives two weeks; yet others say they have found a lemon that is stable for a month or more (ecig express Signature Lemon as one example).
    Honestly? I have no idea. I learned long ago, to only judge any mix on a case-by-case (maybe recipe-by-recipe would be better) basis. Typically(?), commercial e-liquids have tended to lean to high flavoring percentages, and substantial amounts of a sweetening agent. How these influence the longevity of a given e-liquid... I am completely ignorant.

    My personal DIY journey has led to to a lot more, of smaller volumes, of a broader range of mixes. To compare it to food; I am no longer having to choose only between steak and lettuce salad. Instead, I am looking at more of a "what might I want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner... and while you are thinking about it; can you throw in a couple of snacks, and a bedtime nosh as well?" kind of mixing.

    To be honest, I vape unflavored (just PG, VG, and nic; without flavoring) 90% of the time. But, when I do vape flavors, I enjoy them so much more. They have become my "treat."

    Every ingredient behaves differently. And, every ingredient reacts differently with other ingredients that are included. That, to me, is why DIYing is as much an art, as it is a skill. I am fairly confident that I can take many/most other's recipes, and adapt them to my own demands. But, creating my own... from scratch... takes many more hours, and iterations, to arrive at an acceptable (to me) result. I do not have the intimacy with the individual ingredients, that my peers, and superiors do. Not because I am a lesser mixer, or they are better. It is only because they have a better understanding (of the specific ingredients, and their own tastes).

    Time (patience), trials (practice), and a willingness to learn and grow. Those are the marks (to me) that define a true DIYer. But, bottom-line; the real definition of any successful vaper; is the ability to stay away from cigarettes. If you can do that, are happy (not always dwelling on "how nice a cigarette would be right now." Then... you are doing what is right... at least for you!
    Strawberry (as I understand) is one of the more common flavors that is "can/can't" taste. If/when you decide strawberry is a flavor you just can't taste/enjoy... move on. You are not alone. I don't begin to understand it; but, there are more than a few, who share your inability to taste it.

    It can be an issue of using too much, not enough, or just a concentrate you are unable to fully taste. Spend a little time with various percentages, and brands. But, if you can't find something that works for you... move on. There are just too many flavors, flavor combinations, to limit you to a "Yes or No" ultimatum.
    First, 30mL "testers" is WAAAY too much. Unless it is a keeper, to my logic, you are just wasting resources. 5mL is sufficient for single flavor testers, and 10-15mL is adequate for flavor combinations. (For me anyhow.)
    Flavor overload is not uncommon. We, in the vaping community, will often refer to it as "vapers' tongue." This is a rather ambiguous condition referencing loss of flavor/ability to taste.

    Back off of same/similar flavors. Hydrate (drink water), give a little extra attention to oral hygiene (brushing your teeth and tongue more often). And, be patient. If you have just recently quit smoking, ot like to eat lots of strongly flavored foods (and/or beverages), your palate can simply scream "uncle."

    Be kind; keep your smoking, food, and beverage, choices to a minimum. Oils (plant, and synthetic) have a tendency to coat the tongue. Be kind to yourself; and give them a rest.

    Total flavoring percentage can be all over the board. If it tastes good to you... stay with it.

    However, based on the coil, resistance, and (assumed) power/temp settings; I would guess that your are over-flavoring. Flavor, and heat, tend not to be good companions.

    If you are most interested in "checking clouds," then reduce your flavors by 50-75%, and enjoy the clouds.

    If your are all about the flavor; then reconsider your current setup. Higher resistance, lower power, often results in better flavor... but not so good with clouds. If you are looking for a happy medium; then that is going to take some experimentation on your part. only you can define what is the acceptable medium between cloud and flavor.
    Dirty, "gunked up," fouled coils, are often overlooked. Dirty coils can significantly impact the way an e-liquid tastes. From "full of flavor;" to "no flavor at all," can often be attributed to a dirty coil (and/or wick).

    Testing new flavors/recipes, will (almost) always give you the best feedback, when clean.

    This reply is ending up way longer than I wanted... if you got to this point, give yourself a gold star.:blush:

    Bottom line; mix a small batch, test-vape, and adjust as you think best. Repeat.

    Just always keep your mind open to alternatives. You will find what works best for you. It is only when you decide "that can't work" that the doors begin to close.

    I am wishing you all the best. Let us know how your experiments progress (our failures often teach us more than our successes). Don't give up. And, enjoy the ride. Welcome to the rabbit hole we call DIY!
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  18. charlie1465

    charlie1465 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I think that we are using exactly the same flavours that the commercial mixers use. The only limitation is our own inventories. So no I don't think we should get different results in terms of fading...sorry:)
    I'm too lazy to individually flavour test and also think that flavour interactions are a more important lesson to learn which you obviously can only learn from mixes. I do test my mixes in the same way as you though... unless it is a known long steeper that isn't going to taste good off the bat ;)

    One crosses over into the other but I see what you mean. For me personally a flavour that can't hold it self up in any combinations is clearly only useful as a SnV and gets an ultimate thumbs down. These are only molecules after all and a molecule that disappears is a waste of resources for sure..o_O

    I think its likely that there is some missing piece of knowledge about mixing here. My commercial lemon back in 2016 didn't fade as far as I can remember. I vaped from 2013 to late 2016 then started smoking again for a year and liked mainly tobaccos back then so wasn't that experienced with fruits. If its just percentage in a mix then i'll up them. Its a learning curve with everything you do be it:)

    Agreed...everything new that I take up I do with enthusiasm and like to get pretty involved. For me vaping is a very easy route away from the cancer sticks...perhaps too easy for some!!:?:

    Yep...been reading a lot about this and we will certainly move on if I think it's an insurmountable problem. :)

    No completely disagree it works well for me and I haven't made any thing unvapeable yet. I choose the recipes to try very carefully with lot's of background reading..but hey thanks;)

    Defo not overflavouring. I made a few mixes when I started which definitely were but I learn't that one very quickly....most of my mixes now hover around 11% or less.:cool:

    Yep I agree and try and do this mostly but as I said I'm often switching from one juice to another without. I just vape through it until the previous flavor is gone.

    Overall I'm pleased with my mixing and beginning to feel like a seasoned DIY er so all good here. Happy mixing:thumbs:
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