Finding the problem when your DIY tastes BAD

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid - General Discussion' started by HeadInClouds, May 30, 2015.

  1. HeadInClouds

    HeadInClouds Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor Vape Media

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    These steps will usually help you find the cause of a BAD tasting DIY liquids. If everything suddenly tastes horrible, even liquids that used to taste fine, your hardware is likely the problem and isn’t addressed here.
    If some of your DIY tastes fine, but some is horrible, skip to “Experimenting with your flavoring”

    If your DIY is bad, but some liquids are fine with the same hardware, this is the document for you.

    #1 Make a small bottle of your nic+PG+VG with NO flavoring at all. It should taste mildly sweet, nothing unpleasant. If it’s pleasant, flavorings are the problem, so skip down to “Experimenting with your flavoring”

    #2 If your unflavored nic+PG+VG is unpleasant, vape some of your plain VG and plain PG. If one of those tastes bad, that is your problem. If both of those taste okay, your nic is the problem. Any time you get a new bottle of nic, PG, or VG, it's good to test it before mixing up lots of liquids...just to be sure you're starting with good supplies.

    ----------------
    If your culprit is nic, PG, or VG, it’s time to shop for better supplies.
    If your culprit is flavoring, it’s time to experiment.
    ----------------

    Experimenting with your flavoring

    #1 Always shake the flavoring bottle before you use it. Many settle, even if you can’t tell by looking.

    #2 try each flavoring separately. This is good to do with every new flavoring you get. If you don’t do this before you use a new flavoring in recipes, you often end up doing it later - after you’ve wasted supplies.

    Pick a flavor and look around for recommended starting percentage.
    This is useful: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spr..._hQ6Fu8HdEwwR2dLRUJlVjlabEN1NG1ucktuUVE&gid=0
    Click your brand at the top. Flavor names are down the side with the manufacturer’s recommendation (if there is one) in the grey column. The yellow column is the average recommendation from the DIYers who contributed. Each of the other columns is one person’s data (names at top of the column). Even if your flavor isn’t listed, you can often get an idea of a reasonable standalone starting point for that brand.

    Make a tiny batch of your (one) flavoring and see how you like it. It’s helpful to take notes. If it’s too weak or strong for you, experiment to find your preferred standalone percent. Maybe write your preferred standalone percent on the bottle.

    Do this for each flavoring in a recipe that tastes BAD to see which one caused the problem. Nearly always, you’ll have the problem identified by this point.
     
  2. Huckleberried

    Huckleberried Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Excellent write up! Thanks, HIC.
     
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  3. Neunerball

    Neunerball Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years ECF Refugee

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    +1
    I think it's worth to be a sticky.
     
  4. downInTn

    downInTn Bronze Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    +1
    I have to say one of the things I hated about ECF diy forum was all the stickys but HIC's post is worthy. Do it @Huckleberried :)
     
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  5. Huckleberried

    Huckleberried Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Done!

    HIC, you're a sticky.
     
  6. misswish

    misswish Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Very helpful info! For noob or experienced mixer.
     
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  7. Laughmore

    Laughmore Bronze Contributor

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    If a new mix suddenly tastes very peppery, you may have hit a "hot spot" in your nic - shake it better before mixing next time!

    Learning what a hot spot is (area of concentrated nic in the base) helped me understand past occasional, infrequent peppery tastes. They don't happen any more :) shake shake shake any solution before mixing.
     
  8. RocketPuppy

    RocketPuppy Gold Contributor

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    That doesn't sound pleasant but happy the thread is stickied =)
     
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  9. OBDave

    OBDave VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Another great post - that link to the spreadsheet is also quite helpful!
     
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  10. nabibrian

    nabibrian VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    A very nice trouble shooting guide. Thanks!
     
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  11. justvapn

    justvapn New Member

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    great write up HIC. I've thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Thanks for sharing with the community;)
     
  12. DiamondsAndPearls

    DiamondsAndPearls New Member

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    Adding 1% citric acid to your Nic solution can help stop the peppery taste or fishy smell developing. Some vendors already add it to there Nic solutions for this reason. So if you decide to try it, check with your vendor if they already have done it first. Before adding anymore
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
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  13. zOzBaSHa

    zOzBaSHa New Member

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    great guide
    i know i should do test all new flavors before first use but i just depend on ur notes lol
    i guess i will have to do that soon tho because taste is different for everyone

    now i have a weird question
    i have a recipe i tried and been vaping for weeks
    i made a 100ml patch of it this time and using same flavor bottles same vg pg nic i used earlier
    shake flavors and nic before mixing
    and it dose not taste like the older patches
    mixed with insulin syringe for most accurate %
    cant find what to be the problem
    any ideas ?
     
  14. HeadInClouds

    HeadInClouds Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years ECF Refugee Unlisted Vendor Vape Media

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    I read that from time to time from people who, like you, I know are careful mixers.
    I don't have an idea as much as a guess. Maybe due to the quantity it just doesn't physically mix as easily/quickly. If so, more shaking and time should fix it.
    My batches are always much smaller, but I notice with recipes that benefit from steeping, those steeping changes develop fastest in my smallest batches.
    Hopefully someone will chime in who has found the solution with their large batches.
     
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  15. zOzBaSHa

    zOzBaSHa New Member

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    I will make 30 ml again
    It's just better to mix bigger for more steep time

    Sent from my GT-I9192 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Markw4mms

    Markw4mms #Team Jimi Supporter Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 2 Years ECF Refugee

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    Great post... thanks for the spreadsheet link!
     
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  17. Count Vapula

    Count Vapula New Member

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    I like mixing strong single flavours, then diluting and checking out how they steep and blend with each other.

    Sometimes you need some acid to balance things out, or sweetner (Stevia for me), or 0.9% saline to brighten up flavours.

    Have yet to play with the TA / AP side of things

    Great write-up HIC!
     
  18. AZ_Shooter

    AZ_Shooter New Member

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    Nice write up. Good stuf. Thanks!
     
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  19. Wingsfan0310

    Wingsfan0310 Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Great info for people HIC! I'm glad I finally found time coupled with reliable internet after the move back to Michigan. This is a pretty cool place to hang out. :)

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
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  20. Elites

    Elites Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Trust me, That's why I always say @HeadInClouds is Legend of the flavor industry. We love you and your work HIC which you are doing for the vaping community. We really thank you and we mean it.

    Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
     
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  21. Kiwi_Vaper

    Kiwi_Vaper New Member

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    Great write up HIC. As always, very helpful info for beginers and others alike.
     
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  22. natchez

    natchez New Member

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    Nice post to the OP.

    As to bigger batches, my approach is to mix big batches in a series of smaller bottles. I line up as many 30ml bottles as I want for the batch- e.g. 4 x 30ml bottles for a 120ml batch and just go down the line measuring and adding each ingredient. I find they steep better, as noted above, and are overall easier to handle for ultrasonic bathing and subsequent use.Oh, I also only use glass bottles. I add the nicotine base first, then the flavors and I add the extra VG last, so I can just fill up the bottle and do not have to measure the last and usually largest ingredient each time. I do mix high VG juices as the wife is sensitive to PG.
     
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  23. Superfly000

    Superfly000 New Member

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    Can't believe I didn't see this. Thanks HIC!
     
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  24. ZoeBoy

    ZoeBoy Silver Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Thanks HIC. Sure do like the way you explain things. Very helpful. :)
     
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  25. PuffPuffPass

    PuffPuffPass Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Mixing 180-360ml
    I put the VG container in a large bowl of hot water. Only the amount I intend to use.
    Then I put on a pot of water on to boil. Add the boiling water to the bowl. Bringing the VG up to about 140F - 150F pour it into the bottle (flavors already in bottle). Then shake the hell out of it. Leaving the cap off until room temp is reached.

    Let it stand and cool until no more bubbles. Add the Nic, and shake again. By the time the bubbles have settled again. It's pretty safe to vape.

    The whole process takes about 8 hours. But you're doing other things until the bubbles are gone. ;)

    I'm not ready to go the Magnetic stirrer route just yet.

    Update: I still warm the VG, but I've added the stirrer with excellent results on large batches.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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  26. Nuvolone

    Nuvolone New Member

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    Thanks for the great tips HIC! If anyone is interested in mixing tiny batches (1-5ml) of experimental ejuice I suggest trying an adjustable volume pipette (also called Eppendorf pipette). I have one that can measure 10-100 micro litres very accurately and find it extremely useful. They can be picked up for reasonably good prices on eBay, if you get one treat it nicely as the calibration can easily go off if mistreated :)
     
  27. LadyWhoMix

    LadyWhoMix New Member

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    Thanks for the great tips, HIC!!! I have some problem which need your help.

    I mixed a few recipes. They all taste good using a dripper but tasteless with tank. May i know what may be the problem? Our flavours mostly contributes 20 to 30% of one bottle.

    I would really really appreciate if you could help. Looking forward to your reply.
     
  28. PuffPuffPass

    PuffPuffPass Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    You're doing it wrong. :/

    If you're having to use 20-30% flavoring, your flavors are likely sold to you severely diluted.

    Flavors become muted at high levels. The majority of juices require much less than 15%, dependent upon the brand of flavoring purchased.

    If you're using FA flavors. You're using way too much, or your supplier has diluted the flavors.

    As an example: I use White Peach at .2% Strawberry at 4% and Apricot at 2.5%
     
  29. Lost

    Lost Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    What brand is it?

    I've noticed this. See if you agree with what's below. For argument's sake, say every arrow is a 2% increase in flavoring.

    Weak --> Just right --> Strong --> Overflavored --> Overflavored --> Overflavored

    Note that there isn't a "way overflavored" or "seizure time." It's like once you hit a certain level, extra flavoring doesn't make a difference.
     
  30. PuffPuffPass

    PuffPuffPass Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Mine go like this. Just Right > Chemical Taste > No Flavor > Taste like gasoline.

    Just right could be anywhere between .2% and 5% depending on the flavor.

    Bilberry = Gasoline at any % :(
     
  31. LadyWhoMix

    LadyWhoMix New Member

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    I tried this both recipe from e-juice recipe.com. Sucker punch and the milkman. I followed the percentage given with TPA flavours. But i changed the pg/vg to 50/50 with no nic. Based on the percentages, i key in to the ejuice calculator to get the ml. It taste very nice with dripper. But tank, tasteless.
     

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  32. LadyWhoMix

    LadyWhoMix New Member

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  33. Lost

    Lost Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    I've definitely noticed that you can't hide some flavors. By "hide," I mean with sugar or other flavorings.

    Take VG for example. Sweet as hell. Perfect way to mask semi-lame extracts. This is why it's difficult to prove my opinion that most extracts are garbage. Once you hide the faults, they're not as bad. I've mentioned strawberry here before... was never happy with any brand I tried.

    There are a LOT of people who are far more experienced with juice percentages than me. Keeping that in mind... it seems almost offensive to expect a DIYer to buy that much flavoring for a recipe.

    A lot of juices are way overflavored, at least for me. If I want to try the juices my wife brings home, I have to cut them. Read the thread (there's at least one) on "Vaper's Tongue." Do a thread-title search for "tongue."
     
  34. LadyWhoMix

    LadyWhoMix New Member

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    If it is the tongue issue, meaning i can't taste the flavour with both tank and dripper, right? But i can taste it with dripper.
     
  35. PuffPuffPass

    PuffPuffPass Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Did you allow for the Nic? By increasing the VG or PG.

    If not, your flavor % are much higher than stated.
     
  36. LadyWhoMix

    LadyWhoMix New Member

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    Em.... okay. This is my version of The Milkman after i keyed in to the calculator for 10ml PG/VG 50/50 0mg

    PG = 4ml
    VG = 5ml
    Cheesecake Graham =0.5ml
    Vanilla cupcake =0.5ml

    Flavours are from TPA.

    Is there any problem with my version of recipe?:(
     
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  37. PuffPuffPass

    PuffPuffPass Silver Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Not at all :) But that's only 10% ;) Not 20-30

    There could be other variables causing your issues. Coil build, wattage etc.
     
  38. LadyWhoMix

    LadyWhoMix New Member

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    Yup. For The Milkman recipe is 10% only. Sucker punch is 20%. And some other recipes i found goes up to 30%.

    Is really sad that it tastse super nice with dripper but i can't enjoy it with tank. Hmmm...
     
  39. Lost

    Lost Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    I'm not saying you should do this, but here's what I'd do:
    --Make that 30% batch at 15%
    --Assuming I still had 30% juice in my dripper, drip unflavored anything until the flavor's almost gone
    --Rewick the dripper and try the 15%
    --Work on the tank. (I am forever messing with mine... I drip, so everything about the tank is awful.)
    --Find recipes/flavorings that require only 10% or less.

    Assume I make 30ml bottles of juice. I can't justify putting 9ml of flavoring into the bottle. It's like dumping money down the toilet.
     
  40. Heabob

    Heabob Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    BTW what is your tank/setup you're working with?

    So much depends on the tank, coil build, wicking, airflow, watts, Mouth to Lung, Lung Hitter, etc.
    I quit using a dripper to test recipes cause the taste varied too much from my dripper to my tank.
    Didn't want to have to make different recipes for both my tank and my dripper.
    So I make all my recipes, and taste, in my setup, (daily tank only).
    Some can make recipes that work in both but I never had any luck with it.
    Taste is even different using some of the other tanks/builds I've recently tried.
     
  41. StanleySpadowski

    StanleySpadowski VU Donator Member For 1 Year

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    Well that explains it. My first few batches I didn't shake things up and had this issue but haven't noticed it since. Even though the problem is gone it's still good to know what the cause was!
     
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  42. Liquidlunch

    Liquidlunch Member For 1 Year

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    superb, good guide, thanks.
     
  43. SteveS45

    SteveS45 Platinum Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee

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    Because I read this before I started doing my own DIY I shake the nicotine when I take it out, then again as I get ready to start mixing my recipe and then one more time before I take a few MLs out. And I shake it vigorously!
     
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  44. AndriaD

    AndriaD Shine on, you crazy... VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years ECF Refugee

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    Except the comments are in german. [​IMG]

    Andria
     
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  45. SteveS45

    SteveS45 Platinum Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee

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    I was specifically talking about the comment I quoted about shaking the Nicotine. There is translation software if necessary though........
     
  46. AndriaD

    AndriaD Shine on, you crazy... VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years ECF Refugee

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    I found the trick -- open it in chrome instead of FF, the right-click menu gives the option to translate to English. Yay! The translations aren't great, but give some idea.

    Andria
     
  47. Cowboy_Rich

    Cowboy_Rich New Member

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    Trying to make a simple Bavarian Cream juice.
    I buy from an online vendor and it is my ADV.

    But....spending 70+ bucks a month is roughly half of what I spent on cigs.

    So I bought some DIY stuff and started trying to replicate a decent BC.

    My recipe so far based on FW %:
    24mg nic = .6mls per 15ml
    USP 99.99% VG = fill to ml threshold
    Bavarian Cream = 15% (plus 50% boost to match) = 3mls per 15ml

    steeped and shaken for 9 days.
    It smells okay, but tastes off. Not enjoyable.
    I take it I have used way too much flavoring?
     
  48. SteveS45

    SteveS45 Platinum Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee

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    Hard to be able to try and help with your recipe without being able to taste test it. I wish I had the ability to do that! Is it all Bavarian Cream? What is that 50% Boost you spoke about?
    :ejuice::ejuice::ejuice::ejuice:
     
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  49. Huckleberried

    Huckleberried Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    15% for Bavarian Cream is pretty high. You could start at 5% and see what you think of that. Some use less than that, but it's a good starting point for that one. Is this TFA, Capella or a different vendor?
     
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  50. Heabob

    Heabob Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Never tried FW Bavarian but both TFA & CAP need a month steep before they taste decent IMO.

    Personally like the CAP version better, but I've always mixed it in with "other things", and never tried any stand alone.

    Agree with Huck tho, 5% may be a better starting point to work from.
    I just have a hard time waiting for a month to test these types.
    EM/Cotton Candy or sweetener might help calm it down some too.
     
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