How has your DIY evolved?

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid - General Discussion' started by wllmc, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. wllmc

    wllmc VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee VU Challenge Sponsor Vape Media

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    I was mixing some stuff up tonight going about the same routine I always do and I started to think about how my style of mixing is now compared to when I started. When asked about how to best test flavors I usually say what most do and that's is to make small batches and use lower percentage and work your way up but this is actually completely opposite of what I really do. When I mix new flavors I right away batch up 100mls and I usually end up adding more flavor than I think I will need and the reason I do this is so I can mix on the fly and try different things using the initial bottle as a base. Its really easy to pour off some into another bottle and throw a little VG in it and some additional flavors at a more reasonable percent and if I like it I vape it and if not I put it to the side and try it in a couple of days and pour off some more base and try again.
    Once I get something close to what I like Ill start from scratch and really dial things in and tune it up. In the experimental stages, I may not even put anything on a scale after the first 100 ml batch and just wing it until I find something I like.

    How has your DIY evolved over time?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019 at 7:32 AM
  2. Smoky Blue

    Smoky Blue VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 4 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    I do pretty much what I tell folks to do..

    Start small.. 10ml bottles.. solo flavors from 2 drops / .04g up to 8 drops / .16g

    Let it sit over night.. try a 1/4 then let the rest sit for 3 days.. try another 1/4 out and then a week later.. run the rest out..
    Take lots of notes in the mean time and actually spend time with the flavors you are solo taste testing..

    While I do this.. I think of things it will pare with or won't..

    Then I start tinkering all over again ;) I mainly deal with ultras, I test every other month, over and over.. it hasn't gotten stale yet.. and over 3 years of public recipe with Flavorah
     
  3. Wb80

    Wb80 VU Donator Gold Contributor

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    I generally mix new recipes on the fly as well. The only thing that saves my ass is keeping detailed notes on exactly what was mixed so i can accurately adjust until it what i want.
     
  4. lirruping

    lirruping Silver Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    I'm not a pro mixer, but I do it two ways. First way is my "flow state" method, where I grab stuff I think will work together and rely on my mixing experience to carry me through. This works maybe 30% of the time--if that. I can't recommend it, even though it's fun and really satisfying (like magic) when it does work.

    Way more productive for me is the total opposite, where I carefully think through the base, middle and top of a vape in relation to the flavor I'm trying to get, and take a bunch of notes beforehand. After that first stage of thinking/writing stuff down, I can go slightly more fast and loose with it. It helps me to have a solid preconceived framework to work from, tho.

    Smoky's way of testing is maybe the best or most reliable. Like she says, start small and test often. I'm mostly a tank person, with one dripper--an archaic Magma, which I mostly only use for testing.

    willmc's idea is interesting, but to me sounds a little complicated--or at least requiring either a good memory or a lot of labeling to keep track of the dilutions. But I'm not super organized. I have to make a major effort just to keep my notes workable.

    Thanks for making this thread, will! I am looking forward to more contributions.

    EDIT: As far as changes over time, I used to do much more winging it and am now in kind of a thinking-it, thinking-it stage. It's definitely an evolution!​
     
  5. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Hmmmm.....I’m definitely a lot more comfortable with my flavorings now. My failure to success ratio has changed dramatically. I can wing it now(because I more or less know what will work and what won’t)and get a decent result. I also do a lot more research. And I have used @wllmc ’s method....kind of. Like I sometimes mix up a base of flavors and split it out to add different things to it. I would have never done that before.

    Before I winged it and failed.....a lot.
     
  6. wllmc

    wllmc VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee VU Challenge Sponsor Vape Media

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    My current method has evolved from small-batch testing to my current method for 2 reasons I think like @wildgypsy70 says I am just a lot more comfortable with flavoring. I have pretty much tried and tested every flavor I've wanted to so I know whats what and how to use it and when new flavors come around I dont need a lot of time to figure out what else will work well with it. As far as the volume goes its mostly that small batches don't cut it for me anymore just because my style of vaping has changed and I can burn up 10 mls in no time flat.
     
  7. wllmc

    wllmc VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 4 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee VU Challenge Sponsor Vape Media

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    I also remember my very first mixes I didnt even buy flavors from our normal places, there was this little candy making store in town that had the biggest selection of Lorann 1 dram bottles I have ever seen. They used to look at me like what is this dude doing here so after a few times I started bringing my daughter along and buying other candy making things to go along with my flavors so mixing day ended up being candy making day to because then I had to make candy with her ha. ... Cranked up PG for them old school cartomizers, 24mg freebase nic and Lorann flavors food coloring and all haha.


    Edit....I do not endorse such behavior like vaping food coloring thats just what I did because that's what I had in the good old days of experimenting luckily I evolved from that :p
     
  8. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy My name is Lucy and I am a squonkaholic Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee

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    My biggest changes come from following @wllmc and @Smoky Blue

    I just don't sweat it on DIY anymore and it's so much easier - and successful

    No more letting mixes "breath"
    No more heat steeping
    No incessant shaking

    All that is unnecessary or even bad for your recipe
     
  9. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    I definitely got lucky.....I started when the “golden age” of flavors was gearing up.
     
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  10. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    All true. Good ole time is the best steeper.
     
  11. Letitia9

    Letitia9 Therion/Nano Junkie VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Other than the mixing itself becoming more streamlined not much has changed. Create recipes on the fly or take inspiration from other recipes, then mix up maybe 20% of them. Started going back thru some of the older ones the last couple weeks and had a lot of "what in the hell was I thinking" laughs.
     
  12. Smoky Blue

    Smoky Blue VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 4 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    I still test with a dripper first.. I change out cotton between flavors.
    I find 10ml is more than enough to just get the main idea of where I start to taste, where it tastes good and when its too damn high.
    You only need a few bits to get a piece of cotton and your coil wet.

    I do go thru a ton of juice, won't lie about it.. it ranges from 20ml a day up to 30-40ml a day..
    I still bounce, I go from mtl to dl.. I never need to change the amounts I use for either style.

    I switch up a lot to keep from getting too bored, and yes I can throw recipes together without ever tasting them, and know they are still spot on for what I aim for.. not much adjusting. After mixing for the years I have and knowing my flavors the way I do.. it's just that simple :)
     
  13. DogMan

    DogMan VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    I used to do small bottles.

    Now, I use these 100ml ones. First line is for 100mg nic. Next up is 36mg WTA. Top with VG, and I have my unflavoured for a couple of weeks

    [​IMG]
     
  14. VAPEROXX

    VAPEROXX Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Well, in the beginning, I wore all the lab style safety stuff; gloves, goggles, blah blah blah. Also I was an extreme perfectionist. If my final product came out 1ml over or under my target; dump it and start over. Also I started out with a DIY startup kit, with really cheap, not to mention grossly inaccurate labware. I knew nothing of DIY, so I followed other's recipes, mostly to my disdain.

    Fast forward 5 years.

    I mix in whatever I'm wearing, with no safety gear. I just don't get it on me. I have figured out that if I'm a ml or 2 north or south of target, my taster can't discern the difference. I invested in commercial grade glass labware that has certified graduation. Now I understand flavors by brand for the most part; FA will be 1-2%, 3% max, FW will be 5-8% unless you really want to drop the hammer, etc. But there are exceptions to that, isn't there FLV Alpine Strawberry? Ahem! Now I read actual cooking recipes, develop a mental profile, acquire the flavors, use my % experience and make juice taste like the food/drink I'm attempting to mimic. Simple! Right? Usually...

    The Wire Spider
     
  15. VAPEROXX

    VAPEROXX Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    In case you're wondering about my run in with FLV Alpine Strawberry, here it is.

    Flavorah was still pretty new, at least to me. I had a dozen or so of their flavors, and was mostly impressed. I had learned that for me, Flavorah mixed as a background at 3-5%, and as a primary at 6-8%. I monitored Flavorah's website for new releases. Alpine Strawberry drops. I ordered it. I love Strawberry flavors and want them strong. Cracked open the Alpine Strawberry and sniffed. Yum! Did not do the usual "finger drop lick" taste test. Mixed up 30ml of Strawberry Cheesecake with Alpine Strawberry at 10%. Wicked and primed my RTA. I'll never forget this part. Running a .10 build, hitting it with 120 watts. Took a big ol' rip... Had a near-death, moderately religious experience. Once I was able to get up off my bathroom floor, and regain normal respiratory function; I made a mental note to start at about 0.5% next time out with Alpine Strawberry...

    The Wire Spider
     
  16. Smoky Blue

    Smoky Blue VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 4 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    I just about spilled my coffee on this one, @VAPEROXX ..
    Ya might want to rethink even that.. and start with .2% ;)

    My recipes are a total flavor amount ranging from .67% up to 7%... just things to think on..
    You might like it full in your face and slap your hands as long as someone calls you Sally :p
     
  17. VAPEROXX

    VAPEROXX Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    My total flavor percentages range anywhere from 8-10% to well over 30%. I have a very diminished sense of smell and taste, so I mix heavy. For those who have tried my juice (without cutting my percentages), most everyone loves it!

    The Wire Spider
     
  18. nadalama

    nadalama VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    Well just when you think your instinct for mixing won't fail ya....I mixed up a damn DOG last night and won't be the slightest bit surprised if I dump it down the sink next week. I will give it a little time, but my god, there's this back note that is like nasty feet and it is just gross. It'll be a miracle if it ever amounts to anything. I am thinking the culprit is the mixture of FW Hazelnut and TFA Oatmeal Cookie. Won't bore you with the rest.

    For the most part I've had exceptional luck with mixing in the slapdash way it's evolved into. I do all the wrong things and still seem to work my way around to stuff that I really, really like. Most of the work I do before mixing is all mental, it's all my imagination with the backup experience of the things I've mixed before plus a bit of info from the Notes section of ELR and the comments I read in VU.

    It's definitely gotten into my head now - I've had times when a recipe I've been mulling over will wake me in the middle of the night once my brain has worked a problem out without my conscious intervention. lol (That's an occupational hazard for me anyway, first started happening when I was in my 20s and was learning to write program code at school.)

    I think probably because of the condition of my taste buds after 39 years of smoking, mixing isn't that exact a science for me. I have found that I need mixes to total out somewhere between 12 and 18% most times, so that I can taste them, and I'm not the type to mess around with one mix for too long. If I mix it and it isn't what I want, and it can't be fixed pretty easily, I move on. It's a personality thing, I guess - I could never have the patience that some of you have to keep working and tweaking a mix until it's just right. Or maybe it isn't quite that - maybe it's that I don't really care whether a mix is perfect or not - if it tastes good, it's fine with me. Doesn't have to be perfect.

    I too have found recipes of real-life foods or drinks and have been able to make a few very lovely mixes that way.

    I very rarely single-flavor test anything. Just don't have the patience or the room to spread out and do it properly. And every once in a while I come up with a DOG, like I did last night, but for the most part working it out in my head, with the recipe in ELR and me just going over and over it before I ever mix the first bit, works for me. I always taste my mixes within about a half hour of putting them together, and can usually come up with corrections right then if needed. I make corrections, adjust my recipe, and I'm almost always ok with that.

    And the main evolution that has happened with me is that (1) I've had to admit to myself that an 8% recipe most times is not gonna do it for me. At first I followed recipes religiously and was vaping juice that tasted like pure wimpiness, (2) my likes and dislikes in flavors are not mainstream, for example, I am just not that crazy about fruit. I like spices and beverage flavors a lot, so for the most part I'm better off coming up with my own recipes, and (3) the best thing I ever did was buy a damn scale. Counting drops and messing up a bunch of cylinders and pipettes is just bullshit.

    Now if someone could help me conquer COCONUT, for god's sake, I'd be a happy camper. Just one damn time I'd like to have a coconut-based juice that has a real sweetened-coconut flavor.
     
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  19. Rooster Cogburn

    Rooster Cogburn Silver Contributor Member For 1 Year ECF Refugee Reddit Exile

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    I’ve stopped trying to make recipes with a ton of flavorings. I used to do a drip of this, a dab of that, a little squirt here, a little dribble there, I thought I was being creative and I’d make some amazingly complex juice that would become a legend in the community with no one being able to duplicate it. Spoiler alert: never ever became anything special, just a mish mash that tasted like nothing. Anyway I’ve stopped that nonsense and now I am much better at anticipating what will work. I now mix by starting with a base flavor and build on that but only use a few different flavors. I may use three different strawberries to make the strawberry flavor I want but I consider that as one if you get my drift. So counting that way I only use a few different flavors. A base, a main flavor, and one or sometimes two top notes, with possibly some added sweetener but only after I try it without first. If you are new to mixing I suggest you try it this way. I think many start like I did; trying to get fancy or worse with no direction at all. Keep it simple and make tiny single flavors to know what you’re working with and whether you like a flavor. Then you can mix a couple of these 5ml singles together at different %’s until you get one you like, then upscale it. That’s the other tip for newcomers, lots of tiny 10ml bottles and start small by making 5-10ml mixes. You will waste much less, I’ve dumped so many 30ml bottles, which would’ve pissed me off more but it’s still dirt cheap to diy. Good luck to all and that is how my mixing has evolved. Hopefully a newbie will read this and learn something from it.
     
  20. VAPEROXX

    VAPEROXX Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Flavorah Sweet Coconut...

    I quickly grew very tired of sissy juice too. If I wanted sissy juice, I would have just kept buying it. I would mix other people's recipes with 11 different flavors ranging from .25% to 1.75% for a TOTAL flavor content from those 11 flavors of 4.5% or something. And of course, there was virtually no flavor. Those people who came up with those kind of recipes love to comment how this juice has a "light, floral, ice cream and axle grease note on the inhale, with a whisper of mixed berry, banana, avocado and Tide Pod on the exhale"... Shut the fuck up! I don't want whispers and notes of 74 different, unrelated, fruity, savory, creamy, musky cologne flavors! I want a Strawberry Shortcake juice that tastes just like the steaming bastard my wife just pulled out of the oven; not whispers of notes that remind me of a 30 year old memory of one I ate in 1989. My 3-4 flavor-ingredient recipes blow that garbage out of the water. Recently, I posted my recipe for my Cornbread Puddin V2.0. Someone commented all flabbergasted that it was like 24% flavoring. Then I pissed on their math, reminding them that including sweetener it was 34% flavoring! They went on some holier than thou rant about juice with more that like 6 or 8% total flavor is somehow inferior. Well, I have won several juice making contests/challenges (2 in a row here alone, and not bragging), what have you got? Good is good. There is no standard line in the sand we must not cross with flavoring. If your juice is 75% flavor and sweetener, and you as well as others like it, then do you boo! I mix in flavoring until the shit tastes the way I want it to; not to some unbendable, unspoken rule that says I'm only allowed to mix at 8% total flavor or below, under penalty of law. If I can mix a single flavor at 1% or 6 flavors at 50% and it tastes great; then I did it right! This tirade is another part of my DIY evolution; breaking free from the "rules" that the self-proclaimed elite mixers never wrote down in the rulebook...

    If you're new to DIY and read this, and run across one of those 43 flavor juice recipes that total 3.5% flavor mix; grab one of my recipes (glad to share free of charge) with 3-5 flavors at 10-20% and you decide the difference... Mix the juice you want; not the juice that others tell you that you should be mixing!

    The Wire Spider
     
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  21. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy My name is Lucy and I am a squonkaholic Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team ECF Refugee

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    ^^^^ - while I rarely mix high percentage flavoring, mixing what you like how you like it where it's at - END OF STORY
     
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  22. nadalama

    nadalama VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    Thank you, I will try Flv Sweet Coconut!

    You know I completely agree - there's no one way to "do it right!"
     
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  23. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Hell, ya! All of this! Mix how you want! There’s no wrong way!!! If it keeps ya from smoking, then it’s right!
     
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  24. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    It’s definitely the best coconut, IMO. I keep this one in the big girl bottle cause it’s pretty much the only one I use.
     
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  25. Smoky Blue

    Smoky Blue VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 4 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Sometimes folks just can not help their body chemistry...

    its why I post start low and work up.. you might just be surprised.. but hey if you like 50% flavoring.. who the hell am I to judge.. :)

    Thank goodness we all still have free will..

    and those that want to shout out about us light mixers.. I got a mix of Lovage and Alpine for ya..
    a bare 20% but you are more than welcome to rock this at 40 - 50% :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 10:00 AM
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  26. VAPEROXX

    VAPEROXX Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    Right on Smoky Blue!

    I would like to clarify; I have absolutely nothing against light mixers. If you mix 17 flavors at .25-1.25% for a total of 2.75% flavoring in your juice, and you like it; you are doing it right! But, people need to stay out from behind their pulpits, and not insinuate that my juice must taste like a hobo's ass sweat because it contains 36% flavoring...

    Legal disclaimer: not directed at @Smoky Blue. I'm in total agreement with her quoted post, just wanted to add some clarity about my position. While supplies last. Invalid where prohibited. Check your local listings. Batteries not included. Product photos enlarged to show texture. Sold by weight, not by volume. Non-refillable. Not redeemable for cash value. See our advertisement in Vanity Fair magazine for details and restrictions as well as prescription information and drug interactions. May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, blurred vision, pancreatic cancer or sudden death. Results not typical. Actual results may vary...

    The Wire Spider
     
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  27. Smoky Blue

    Smoky Blue VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 4 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    I think the issue here is Roxx...(@VAPEROXX ) check it... I havent seen anyone jump on anyone else about recipes.. no matter the amounts used..

    Chillax serious.. share some of the fab recipes you have.. those that like it, will and those that won't.. does it really matter?
    Do they paid you bills? sleep with you when you ate grandma's beans, or help around the house?

    They why you letting them rent space in your head and make funky posts from the get go?

    this site could be all that.. but a lot of folks see it as clique-ish.. which is stupid as all get out too..

    We are who make this site.. the people that post and share.. have some pride and help those that can or can not taste crap on a cracker :p
     
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  28. VAPEROXX

    VAPEROXX Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    You're very right Smoky Blue. But actually a long time member and frequent poster here, loves to post little snide remarks about my heavy handed mixing while taking a "Bertha Better-than-you" position regarding their own mixes. As an old Army Sergeant, snide remarks get my dander up. Once it's up at someone, it doesn't come down quickly. If they read this thread, they know my comments are about them. As far as VU as a whole goes: not a better group of people in the digital universe! But even a Semi Trailer full of apples will have a few bad ones. Forum trolls with condescending attitudes piss me off (though they probably shouldn't), I just wanted this derpy troll to realize I was recognizing their idiocies.

    The Wire Spider
     
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  29. Smoky Blue

    Smoky Blue VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 4 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    I love love yeah... Flavorah's 2 they have..

    Coconut to me is more of the nutty insides.. while sweet coconut is more of the milky goodie with bits of coconut floating in it..
    for giggles I did a 1.2% sweet coconut (omg nooo not that high, but it was not bad at 1.2%) and a .4% coconut... as plain as it sounds, it is delish.. no suntan reminders, no nasties.. just fresh coconut milk goodness.. sometimes I slip in some pineapples and strawberries, or oranges and banana orall 4 topped with rainier or black cherry.. toss in some vanilla smooth or bean.. and you wont pry that bottle from me till it's gone!! :p

    the other coconuts from other manufactures used to be all of what we had to work with.. they all still have their places.. just not in my house ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 9:00 PM
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  30. Smoky Blue

    Smoky Blue VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 4 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    I just can't focus on the bad.. I'd be stuck on that if I let me. I have been thru some crap too.. stupid stuff.. so I dont focus on it.. who cares if my posts gets likes or some troll starts finger flapping... main thing is if someone needs the help, they will take the info we share away and do amazing things with what they learn.. Don't let bad people influence you... ;) they shouldn't. I know all too well who here likes my info and who doesn't yet I still come back and post.

    Pretty much the site runs itself.. I know the mods and admin here take care of any problem folks.. so don't let it eat at ya Roxx.. ;)
     
  31. VAPEROXX

    VAPEROXX Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years Unlisted Vendor

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    You're right Smoky Blue lol! My wife would whole-heartedly agree with you too lol! I'm just a crotchety old retired combat vet, with nothing much to bitch about lmaooooo!

    The Wire Spider
     
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  32. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    How has my DIY evolved?
    I started DIY becuase I could not vape most commercial eliquid.
    I started with Flavorconcentrates.com's fruit flavors at around 25%. They have NO artificial ingredients is why I started with them and they caused me no issues unlike most commercial ejuice. I actually only found 1 cheap tobacco ejuice that I could vape until I started DIY.
    Flavorconcentrates blueberry is VERY good. Watermelon, Bannana and Strawberry are also very good. VERY authentic but you have to go high percentages. The Bananna needs to steep a few weeks but is very good after that.
    Then I started watching Fresh03 and such mixologists.
    Bought a bunch of flavors. Found I could not vape most of them and tossed most of them.
    For at least the past 2 years I have only used about 8 flavors. And am stocked up on them.
    Still mix by volume.
    Never get vapors tongue.
    And am quite satisfied with where I am.
    I have also dropped my nic down to about 1.8 mg/ml and have been there for over a year.
    I vape around 120 ml/week.

    I have been 100% DIY for over 4 years now.
     

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