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Using Citric Acid in DIY

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by ChelsB, Dec 9, 2017.

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  1. ChelsB

    ChelsB Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 12, 2016
    California
    Rather than hijack the nicotine comparison thread, I wanted to get some advice from those of you that use Citric Acid (CA) in your DIY. I only learned about this yesterday and am intrigued. Obviously, I’ve never tried it but am interested in how it can bring a smoothness to the juice (and any other benefits).
    I appreciate any and all input/recommendations/information. To start I’m wondering:
    -What percentage of the recipe should be CA? And if there’s a range that’s usually used (e.g., never use more than x%)?
    -What differences did you experience compared to juice not containing CA?
    -Are there any risks using this?
    -Does it work better in certain recipes (i.e., doesn’t work well with menthol flavors) than others? And is there a difference with max VG juice vs 50/50?
    -Does it affect steep time?
    -Anything else you think is helpful to know
    Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer to any or all of these questions.
     
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  2. madstabber

    madstabber Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I must have been reading the same thread as you yesterday when I learned of it also. Nothing to add because you covered all my questions, just curious to learn about its use. I hope to hear from some folks who have had success with it.
     
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  3. Stoneface

    Stoneface Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 12, 2013
    New York
    Same here...waiting and watching for what happens next...
     
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  4. IDJoel

    IDJoel Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    I'm another one lurking. I read bits and pieces on the Nicotine Comparison thread (concerning CA), but couldn't really follow, with the other conversations going on around and through the CA talk. Perhaps @mikepetro, or one of the others with citric acid experience, would be kind enough to stop by, and give us all a primer on its use and purpose. (Pretty Please.... ;)).:D
     
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  5. kas122461

    kas122461 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jun 15, 2013
    Indiana, USA
    I remember Bill in the TFA thread talking about it's use, but it was a long time ago, and it is a big thread. My skills for searching suck. :blush:

    KAS
     
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  6. ChelsB

    ChelsB Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 12, 2016
    California
    I often find that not only do old threads usually require sifting through pages , there’s definitely been times when I still had questions after reading a thread. Usually it’s some specific question that’s not covered or just is mentioned in passing.
    Eta: It’s not always easy for me to find stuff too!
     
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  7. Stoneface

    Stoneface Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 12, 2013
    New York
    I've read about several acids being used in juices, including distilled white vinegar. I frankly haven't had much luck getting those recipes to work for me, so this will hopefully be an interesting read...

    EDIT: I'm specifically hoping to get more "smoothness." I was/am interested in NN's "smooth" nic salts for that reason, but I'm not yet sold on the salts
     
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  8. IDJoel

    IDJoel Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 20, 2015
    Boise, ID
    Here; did it for ya: https://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/threadloom/search?query=citric acid thread:336110 user:"Bill's Magic Vapor"&tab=709&page=2
    :D
    EDIT: Dang it! I didn't mean to post this yet...
    To continue; Bill (@Bill's Magic Vapor) used it as a flavor stabilizer at 1/10 of 1% (0.1%), and 3-6 times that to enhance tartness/bite.
     
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  9. ChelsB

    ChelsB Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 12, 2016
    California
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  10. puffon

    puffon Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2014
    The Villages, FL
    I think @Rossum has some experience with it?
     
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  11. Alter

    Alter Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    BC Canada
    I tried apple cider vinegar, reading about it somewhere sometime ago, even forgot why I tried it in the first place. It just made my coil noiser and didn't notice anything different.
     
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  12. kas122461

    kas122461 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jun 15, 2013
    Indiana, USA
    I did not know that you could attach a search, I just tried the same search, and was looking threw it, when you posted. There is a lot of info in that search if one had the time. I liked the idea of stabilizing the juice so it did not change, never tried it though. :|

    KAS
     
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  13. AzPlumber

    AzPlumber Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2011
    Arizona
    Years ago I used Loranns citric acid along with Loranns Tart & Sour (citric acid & malic acid). They are both in powder form so were first mixed in PG or VG and then used in my juices. I don't remember %'s but pretty low and mostly used them with fruit flavors for a Jolly Rancher type flavor.


    eta: Now that I think about it the Citric Acid is a powder but the Tart & Sour is already in liquid form.
     
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  14. kas122461

    kas122461 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jun 15, 2013
    Indiana, USA
    I do remember one thing that was mentioned, it kind of keeps the flavors to stay in their lanes, so to speak. So like the 2 flavors wont blend together and make something nasty. Okay my brain hurts now, need a Vape.

    KAS
     
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  15. mikepetro

    mikepetro Vape Geek Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Funny, someone else just asked me about this in a PM today.

    Nic salts are smoother than regular nic. People use them just because they are smoother, or also to allow high nic strength without such a harsh hit. For example the Juul uses 50mg nic salts. Higher nic is good for folks who are just starting to get off the stinkies.

    Here is what I told the other member in my PM.

    I used the Vermont Vapors recipe as a base:
    Formerly Vermont Vapor, Inc. - Recipes

    https://www.amazon.com/Milliard-Citric-Acid-Pound-NON-GMO/dp/B00EYFKKZC/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1512756350&sr=8-4&keywords=citric+acid

    Only I used pg instead of distilled water, which was a lot harder dissolve, I had to heat it up some to finally get it all dissolved. I mixed 100g of CA with 100ml of PG, and then poured it into a bottle to use as an ingredient in mixes.

    What I have found is that the amount needed (expressed as a % in the juice recipe) varies depending on the strength (mgml) of the nic. I cant say just add X% to your juice. It differs on whether you are mixing 6mg or 24mg, etc.

    Where I finally landed was adding "as needed" and just drizzled it in while stirring until I achieved a certain ph level. Usually about 7.5ph. But you can go up or down from there. pH just proved to be the best way to adjust for varying nic strengths.

    Also, if you titrate your nic to validate strength, do it BEFORE you add the CA. Titration doesnt work on Nic salts. I will titrate my 100mg concentrate to validate (since I am starting with pure 99.9% undiluted nic and making my own 100mg nic), and then use that 100mg concentrate in my mixes and then add the CA until I achieve the proper pH.

    I just use a pH pen similar to this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Newdy-Aquarium-Hydroponics-0-00-14-00-Measurement/dp/B07217NV2Q/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1512757505&sr=8-8&keywords=pH+pen

    I bought a more high end one, but the above would work fine.
     
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  16. ChelsB

    ChelsB Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 12, 2016
    California
    Excellent information. Thanks!
     
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  17. mikepetro

    mikepetro Vape Geek Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Do be aware, a downside is that it gunks your coils a little faster.
     
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  18. Stoneface

    Stoneface Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 12, 2013
    New York
    Without completely derailing this thread, @mikepetro....I am just beginning to look at nic salts for the smoothness factor. So, I hope you can help me with a couple of questions. How does smoothness of nic salts compare with regular nic at, say, 12mg/ml and lower? How does the smoothness of adding citric acid compare with the smoothness of nic salts in a juice of the same nic strength?

    I hope that makes sense....

    EDIT: In other words, I'm trying to decide why to add citric acid and/or why to try nic salts instead...
     
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  19. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    I still use Loranns tart & sour when I make my version of a star burst flavor(any fruit flavor).. Good stuff.

    :)
     
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  20. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    SE PA
    I've been on and off with it. Not currently using it. When I did use it, it was at a much lower CA/Nic ratio than is suggested in some recipes.
     
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