Hi all, I'll try to make this narrative as SHORT as possible - I've been mixing my own juice for just about 3 years now, and not had ANY "store-bought" juice in all that time, and after I recently vaped a couple of flavors from different juice companies, I've discovered that my DIY juice has been, well, CRAP, for I'm not sure how long! (I put "emergency" in my title because I Can. Not. Afford. to BUY the 20-30ml a DAY I've been vaping for the last several years (why I started DIYing in the first place!) - I'm NOT hooked on the nicotine; I vape at ONE mg/ml, and I wasn't a "regular" smoker before vaping, but, you guys get it - I'm hooked on the HABIT, and I feel like I can't go back to crappy DIY juice now that I have the taste of the "good stuff" in my brain!) I've read a lot of the threads here, and they had a lot of good info, but there are a couple of questions I haven't been able to find answers for, and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction: 1) "quality" of (non-flavor) ingredients: I haven't been able to find a straight answer to this, but: are all PG/VG created equal, or aren't they? I've used the Essential Depot and NatureFresh(?) brands (got both from Amazon), and seen both of those mentioned in various forums (also, they're pretty CHEAP at ~$25 a GALLON), but are those smaller bottles of PG/VG and/or "premixed bases" that seem to cost a little more per ounce/ml "better"? As long as it's 99.9% pure, USP food-grade, isn't it all the same? Same thing for nicotine - I use NicVape 100mg/ml 100% VG liquid, and I'm careful to keep the cap on so it doesn't "oxidize" (i.e., the liquid inside the bottle is still pink and not yellow), but I don't go through nic very fast at 1mg, so is it maybe getting "old" on me? 2) Flavorings - I *think* the reseller I've been using may be selling "fake" flavorings - I'm not going to say their name here, in case I'm wrong, and I've seen positive reviews for them on this site - I just bought 120ml bottles of Sweet Cream and Blueberry (Extra) directly from TFA and compared them to the bottles of those flavors from the reseller, and they even LOOK different - the TFA liquid is MUCH darker, and it may be my imagination, but I think they SMELL different (i.e., the TFA smells "more like blueberry" than the reseller flavor does). The reseller also doesn't use the same packaging as TFA (and Capella); they use their own plastic bottles and their own printed labels with the manufacturer company logo - does this sound "legit"? I mixed a 20ml bottle yesterday of my ADV flavor with the direct-from-TFA flavors and let it steep overnight (basically just "blueberries and cream," with the INTENTION of "heavy on the blueberry"): Sweet Cream TFA 6% Blueberry (Extra) TFA 17% Vanillin 10% TFA 2% 30% PG 70% VG, 1mg/ml nicotine At the moment, I can't taste the blueberry AT. ALL. Not even a LITTLE. It's just strong sweet cream with a HINT of something fruity underneath. (Most of my recipes are ~20% flavor, but I thought if I bumped it up, it might help...?) 3) "This isn't *that* hard" - I'm falling into the gap between "C'mon, guys; it's BASIC CHEMISTRY - there are FOUR INGREDIENTS!" and "Watch it now, Chief; this is HARD; not just anybody can make really good juice at home!" My last store-bought juice was a Blueberry Cheesecake, and it is SO GOOD, you guys - STRONG, strong blueberry, and the cheesecake isn't at all overwhelming! I tried to ask the salespeople what vendor they use for their BASES (PG/VG), and they said, "Ohhh, NO company is EVER going to tell you what vendors they use"...I GET that, for business/market-protecting reasons, but do "professional juice makers" have access to some super-secret ultra-premium flavor companies that the rest of us don't know about? I've seen people mention TFA, Capella, Flavor West, and FA and used all of those in the past (though they were ALL from the reseller I mentioned above, so I don't know if they were "real" or not), but in at least the last year or so, I don't think I've EVER had a DIY juice "work" as well right into a fresh coil as anything I've made. I use the Big Baby Beast tank, and I've been really into RBAs for a while and just thought I was BAD at it because the juice would never soak into the cotton (Cotton Bacon, Native Wicks, Kami Japanese Organic, Youde Japanese Organic - all of em - the juice just "sits" on top of the cotton and doesn't "soak in" immediately and visibly like store-bought juice does), and the coils themselves would be COVERED in gunk after an HOUR or two...then I tried putting my DIY juice in a prebuilt coil - the thing was RUINED after an HOUR - obvious discoloration of the cotton, almost NO flavor getting through, and even putting store-bought juice into the less-than-a-day-old coil didn't work; it killed even THAT flavor. So, I think the problem is one or more of my ingredients; I'm just not sure which one(s). (I'm vaping the DIY I described above right now, with the verified TFA flavors, and it doesn't SEEM to be gunking up the coil yet; it just doesn't TASTE very good.) 4) Blueberry - the girl at the shop where I bought the Blueberry Cheesecake did say that "blueberry is especially 'hard' to work with" - I've NEVER read that on any of the forums; what did she mean by that? That juice is also PURPLE, and the only vendor I've been able to find that sells "colorizer" is Inawera (I haven't used their flavors before, cuz, the Europe thing - too long shipping! ) - could THAT be where they get their flavors? (I've ordered a bottle of Inawera's blueberry just to check it out) I also recently ordered a bottle of My Boy Blue ("blueberry custard") from GoodLife Vapors (based in GA, I think, kind of a small company), and that blueberry too was STRONG (and DIFFERENT from the blueberry in the Cheesecake juice) - it SMELLED stronger in the juice, even with the PG/VG/other flavors, than ANY of my blueberry flavors have ever smelled in the bottle - what's the trick here? Is it a "steeping" issue? (The blueberry flavors I've tried (TFA Blueberry Wild (meh - too "tart"), CAP Blueberry (the bottle I have right now from the reseller doesn't smell like blueberry at ALL, and the vape shop girl confirmed that it smells "really weird"), TFA Blueberry Candy, Flavor West Blueberry) all don't seem to have a very strong "smell" in the bottle, so maybe I need a different blueberry...?) I usually "steep" my juices in an ultrasonic cleaner (cuz I read to do that somewhere, on some forum ) with "moderate" heat (warm but not HOT, though I forget to turn the heat off sometimes so it maxes out and auto-shuts off) for an hour or two before I try to vape them, but those same juices don't seem ANY different at that point than they do after they've just been "sitting" for a week, a month, etc. The store-bought juices just seem "better," more full flavor, "creamier" texture to the liquid itself, and I'd REALLY like to save my poor wallet the stress of having to spend $100+ a week on juice.... Thanks to anyone who can help me out here!