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Weird Taste and Smell After Steeping in Ultrasonic Cleaner

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by lukeit, Dec 11, 2017.

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  1. lukeit

    lukeit New Member

    Dec 11, 2017
    Hi everyone, I recently decided to step the game up and bought an Ultrasonic Cleaner to steep my batches. In the photos attached below, you can see the before and after.

    Eight different flavors in glass bottles, entirely immersed for a two hours cycle in the Ultrasonic cleaner at 122 °F to 177 °F. (I'm keeping other eight bottles - same flavors - naturally steeping in a drawer for comparison)

    The results (from left to right):
    Lemon Tart - Tastes like a bitter, almost burnt cookie. No lemon notes whatsoever. Next.
    God Milk - Tastes like a bitter, almost burnt cookie. Dragonfruit has a weird plastic smell and taste. Next.
    Lemon Meringue Pie - I can smell some lemon, but it still tastes like a bitter, almost burnt cookie.
    ... I then stopped trying the remaining ones.


    All the bottles smell pretty much the same (even with no common ingredients) and taste very weird. I tried the recipes in dripping and changed wicks for every batch.

    What I'm doing wrong? :( Could it be the cap of the bottles? The too high temperature? Perhaps the small plastic bands?

    IMG_0172.jpg IMG_0173.jpg
     
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  2. bombastinator

    bombastinator Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    I’ve heard you don’t want to exceed 145f. This could be why.
     
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  3. lukeit

    lukeit New Member

    Dec 11, 2017
    Thanks for this! Unfortunately, the Ultrasonic cleaner is not very precise in keeping a steady temperature. Next time I will definitely set it lower to avoid any mistake.

    I just made a 15ml bottle of shake and vape ejuice, and it still tastes horrible. I'll try to vape it again tomorrow morning, I could have a bad mouth right now... But would it be possible that I ordered a bad batch of nic from ecigexpress? :|
     
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  4. 90VG

    90VG Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 19, 2016
    5000' in Nevada
    How long have you been vaping? About 2 months into it, my taste/smell went crazy for a few weeks. Stuff I used to like smelled toxic to me. I don't think the quit farts helped that much.

    After a while, it went away. Get a 2nd opinion and have someone else try it.

    If not, do the scientific method. Remove one thing from each mix, and keep making new small batches, removing something else; When it goes away, you found it.
     
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  5. 10x sugar

    10x sugar Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 13, 2013
    OC, NJ
    Hi @lukeit! Since you mentioned concern with the nic, I would start my investigation with that. Mix up your preferred ratio of nic, VG and PG without any flavoring. Shake well. No need for heat or steeping. This will help you narrow things down. If the unflavored tastes bad, make a sample with just nic and VG. If that tastes bad, make a sample with just nic and PG. If that still tastes bad, you will know it's the nic for sure. If those 3 samples all taste fine, then you might assume it's one or more of the flavoring and you'll need to go through the steps above with all of them. As @90VG Mentioned above though, it could be that your tastebuds are scrambled for now and making adjustments. Please do report back and let us know what you learn as that information could help others here. Good luck!
     
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  6. BrotherBob

    BrotherBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 24, 2014
    Sunnyvale,CA,USA
    Welcome and glad you joined.
    Steeping is not something I consider a subject of concern. Some juices change a little with aging; some change a lot. I mix many mixes per mixing session and everything gets 4 weeks min. and more often, 2-3 months is not unusual. It's all about managing what you mix vs what you have left in stock. I believe If a mix is not good or has not approached my minimal taste acceptance (after a few shakes various times through the aging process) the mix is a failure. If the taste is good only after 2-3 weeks and goes down hill, it's not for me. If anyone believes a more rigorous mechanical/thermal intervention hastens and improves your mix, go for it.
    What are you doing wrong? Hard to say, could do a test. Compare natural 4 week steep with accelerated and at the very least the test may tell you which, or either of the two processes may be causing the problem.
    Here is a quick look into another view of steeping:
    https://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/blog-entry/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-steeping-and-then-some.5010/
     
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  7. papergoblin

    papergoblin Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 16, 2013
    alabama
    Most stuff should taste decent just mixed. If not, the older it gets won't probably help either, I've rarely had a juice go from awful to good. Generally it's good to great or good to bad. Taste is subjective but I generally only steep custard types and/or certain tobaccos.

    I've rarely noticed a difference in steeping fruits, unless they were just way too perfume like. Steeping on some of them did mellow them out a little but usually not a lot. I also tend to stay away from force steeping, heat just messes with the nic too much. Heat can cause nic to get a really bad wang to it.

    What brand(s) of stuff are you using? The brand can have a lot to do with it, a good example is VG, if I buy it from Wally World it's pretty good, CVS their's taste like the bottle. Funny thing is they're both from the same place and use the same looking bottle but with different labels.
     
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  8. JCinFLA

    JCinFLA Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 21, 2015
    Are the recipes for the 8, the same ones you've made and liked before...when you didn't put them in the UC? If the answer is yes, I'd say that going above the recommended temp. may be responsible for their tastes now.

    If the answer to the above is no, they're new ones you've not made before...what were the exact recipes?
     
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  9. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    If you want assistance avoiding this in the future, you DO need to let us know EVERYTHING you are using, including brands.

    I don't heat steep for a reason. I don't do anything but let time and the occasional shake run its course. To me, you pay a price in trying to rush steeping, usually. The most I will do is rinse my (filled) bottles briefly under hot water to get any residue off them so that I can label them. With that said, it's a lot easier to let time steep juices once you get some sort of routine going.

    I am doubtful about blaming the nic because often shake and vape starts out um, underflavored, at least to me. Even with flavors out of the gate that you can shake and vape, they do usually improve over time, has been my experience.

    But this is all speculation until you provide more information I think,.

    Anna
     
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  10. NicotineRush

    NicotineRush Linux Mint/Mate Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I never turn on the heat in my UC. It seems to get warm enough on it's own, but never too warm.
    (5hrs at 30min increments)
    Works great.
     
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  11. Letitia

    Letitia Nano Junkie ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 2, 2017
    West Frankfort, IL
    You may have cooked your flavors. Some of your mixes sound like they may contain sugars.
     
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  12. SteveS45

    SteveS45 Moved On ECF Veteran

    Jan 27, 2016
    Long Island, New York
    Like @bombastinator stated never exceed 150F or Nicotine degrades.
     
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  13. lukeit

    lukeit New Member

    Dec 11, 2017
    Wow, this is such a great community, I wasn't expecting so many replies!

    After trying to vape the base and naturally steeping bottles, it became clear that the excessive heating caused the problem.

    I think that, as many of you suggested, every creamy flavor got burnt. In fact, the only notes you can taste from the smokey/plastic burnt are the fruity ones. Or maybe it was the nicotine?

    It'd be interesting to see at what temperature the fruit flavors start to degrade, but that's an experiment for another day haha
     
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  14. SteveS45

    SteveS45 Moved On ECF Veteran

    Jan 27, 2016
    Long Island, New York
    @lukeit since I was very impatient when I started to DIY I actually have made liquids ready to vape in 4-5 hours and can safely say just under 150°F is safe for any flavor. I have yet to find what is known as a shake and vape because from my experience just adding nic shots needed more time for infusion.
     
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  15. NGAHaze

    NGAHaze Infinity Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 13, 2010
    Georgia
    While I tend to agree with the consensus that you probably overcooked your mixes, I also noticed that said you 'entirely immersed' your bottles. I would suggest that you only add enough water to come up to the level of liquid in your bottles and no further. It isn't necessary to submerge the bottles completely.

    Good luck and welcome ... I can see that you are already well into the rabbit hole. :D
     
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  16. lukeit

    lukeit New Member

    Dec 11, 2017
    Could a complete submerging cause any problem? I'm going to try this over the weekend, but the bottles are 15ml ones and I'm worried they won't stay in their place.
     
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  17. PJReid

    PJReid The Boozy Wench Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 2, 2013
    LakeRidge, VA, USA
    I use my ultrasonic cleaner more for thoroughly mixing the ingredients rather than steeping. Pretty much all I make are shake and vape recipes so steeping isn't required. I usually put the juice bottle after mixing into a coffee cup if the bottle is small or a bowl if it is large, filled with hot tap water and let it sit until the water has cooled. That little bit of heat thins out the juice so that all of the different particles can happily combine while enjoying their vibrating sauna bath in the ultrasonic cleaner. ;) It works for me!
     
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  18. Walee

    Walee Super Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    What I consider to be the best tutorial/overview of mixing recommends never applying heat. If you use a magnetic stirrer it will generate enough heat in the process of mixing to bring the viscosity to a proper level. I do use a USC but consider it a second stage of mixing and not steeping. Again with no heat applied. After 1/2 hour in the stirrer and 1/2 hour in the USC the liquid is plenty warm just from the friction of the processes. Having said all that, if whatever you do works, don't fix it.
     
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  19. NGAHaze

    NGAHaze Infinity Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 13, 2010
    Georgia
    It's unlikely provided you are using decent caps but it's not beyond the realm of possibility either. I prefer to be on the safe side especially since submerging them isn't going to add any real value.

    You can add blocking items to the tank or you can band them together to ensure the bottles stay upright, either should suffice.
     
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  20. PJReid

    PJReid The Boozy Wench Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 2, 2013
    LakeRidge, VA, USA
    Some heat does not degrade nicotine or flavors and does make the liquid easier to combine. It just shouldn't be over about 145 degrees and doesn't even need to be that high. I think the average temperature of hot tap water is below 130 degrees and I only leave the bottle in that for maybe 5 minutes.

    Do you have that new Nitecore Magnetic Stirrer? I have been curious about that. I don't want to highjack the thread but have been meaning to ask here and since you mentioned the magnetic stirrer, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.
     
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