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A little help with "pro" flavoring


BLiZZ

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So I got in to the DIY when I moved to England, because their prices for store bought juice was.. ridiculous.

I bought the stuff, I got the kits, I mixed some juices and they were... good. I had a few failures trying out new recipes, but thats to be expected.

Fast forward about a year.

Been making my batches and loving the savings over all. I tend to stick to 3 or 4 flavors that I really enjoy and then dabble with new recipes here and there just to branch out and keep in practice.

However, I recently bought a store bought flavor that was one that I made (a pineapple kiwi fruity mix). Now, the one I make is good. I can vape it all day for weeks straight without getting tired of it. The store bought one was... WOW. Really good.

I looked at the ingredients and did research online and found out we re using the exact same flavors. So I bought a couple more that were the same as ones I make for myself and again... they are so much better...

So, my question is... how do I improve my own flavors to get to that next level of.. WOW?

Here is what I do currently:

I always make 70/30 VG/PG mix with 3mg nic with (either a 48ml or 52ml base in VG). all flavors are in PG. Most of my recipes are 2 flavors only (occasional 3) and they come out pretty well, as stated above.

My flavors always taste the same no matter how I mix. i.e. It doesn't change if I premix and add flavors later (which is my norm) if I add flavors first. If I make a fresh batch of all ingredients at the same time, etc etc.

I have been making 300-500ml of VG/PG/Nic premix as it saves me time and I haven't noticed any difference in flavoring. I don't normally steep because again, the difference in flavor has always been the same. (and I am usually in a hurry and mix, shake and go.) I always shake everything before mixing, making or vaping. Always.

I also generally make 30ml at a time in my unicorn bottle and when I am testing new flavors I make 10ml as not to waste a whole lot if it is crap.

So, what am I doing wrong? Why is store bought so much better, when mine isn't bad to begin with?

P.S. my flavor brands run the gambit. Usually TFA, but also Cap, FA, Purilum... etc
 

bobnat

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I'm curious as to how you know exactly what's in the store juice? I've never seen any juice that lists all the ingredients...that would be economic suicide.
 

fq06

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You are not mixing the same flavors as store bought juice. Maybe the same general profile (pineapple kiwi fruity) but it is not the same flavor company's or % or additives.
Your juice is what it is, if you want better tasting juice, you need to mix more and try new combos of flavor companies, percentage and multiple companies flavoring of the same flavor.

Basic single concentrate per flavor usually is not the best juice. Like using only strawberry ripe and caps vanilla custard won't be anywhere near as good as a mix that uses vanillas, creams, caps vc, multiple strawberrys, dragon fruit, a touch of graham and a sweetner like marshmallow.
 

ttatlanta

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"I've been baking with wheat, but then I bought an apple pie… Why it tastes so much better than my bread?!"
  1. Try a bit more sophisticated recipes. For example, I've just mixed this one and enjoying the heck out of it, despite the fact that I'm not a big fan of custard flavored vapes.
  2. Unless the recipe is a "shake and vape", let it steep. There are very few recipes out there that get worse with time; most will be at their best after sitting in the shade for at least 2-3 weeks.
 

Mattp169

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just to elaborate
CAP peach, TFA peach and FA peach are all different and FA has 2 peaches which are different
now CAP and TFA are ismilar
one taste slike dollar store reject hard candy the other tastes like 2 for a dollar dollar store reject hard candy
However FA peach and FA white peach are totally different from CAP and TFA they are more like biting into a peach.

If i Substitute CAP for my FA peach in a recipe its different and not nearly the same.

Another factor is the nicotine itself. Some nicotines alter the flavor slightly
 

BLiZZ

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You are not mixing the same flavors as store bought juice. Maybe the same general profile
Basic single concentrate per flavor usually is not the best juice. Like using only strawberry ripe and caps vanilla custard won't be anywhere near as good as a mix that uses vanillas, creams, caps vc, multiple strawberrys, dragon fruit, a touch of graham and a sweetner like marshmallow.
This is more what I was after, really. I follow recipes, I try different things on my own, but I really hate wasting all the stuff when it comes out as crapola. So, is there a resource that shows these things for the DIYer or is it all trial and error until you finally hit something worth while?

"I've been baking with wheat, but then I bought an apple pie… Why it tastes so much better than my bread?!"
I get the meaning, but comparing wheat bread to apple pie isn't really what is going on here. apples to apples not apples to baseballs.

  1. Try a bit more sophisticated recipes. For example, I've just mixed this one and enjoying the heck out of it, despite the fact that I'm not a big fan of custard flavored vapes.
  2. Unless the recipe is a "shake and vape", let it steep. There are very few recipes out there that get worse with time; most will be at their best after sitting in the shade for at least 2-3 weeks.
I have dabbled in "more sophisticated" recipes, my taste buds don't always agree. Store bought or otherwise, I have yet to find one that I could use as a sole vape, or a "favorite".

I also know about steeping and agree, when I have time. I am usually too busy to make batches to use weeks later. I am willing, but I also need to vape right now. If you know what I mean. Which is why I am asking this question now. I have a few shake and vape recipes that I can get by on while others steep, but so far the steeping hasn't been worth it.

just to elaborate
CAP peach, TFA peach and FA peach are all different and FA has 2 peaches which are different
now CAP and TFA are ismilar
one taste slike dollar store reject hard candy the other tastes like 2 for a dollar dollar store reject hard candy
However FA peach and FA white peach are totally different from CAP and TFA they are more like biting into a peach.

If i Substitute CAP for my FA peach in a recipe its different and not nearly the same.

Another factor is the nicotine itself. Some nicotines alter the flavor slightly
Yes, I also know this, too. That is why I have copious amounts by different vendors. I know which kiwi and which pineapple taste best together, and when to use strawberry ripe from TFA or strawberry from Cap. That really isn't my issue. Perhaps I have been lucky with my nic (52mg from the UK) hasn't made my juice taste different. (I know because I have some with my on my return to the US where I first bought some 48mg locally and it was horrid. I found another brand and it tastes the same as the UK stuff...)

Perhaps I worded my original post wrong.

I am really just looking for what I need to do to get store bought quality juice made at home. Do I need to mix varying degrees of 16 different things? If so, where do I find out what to mix. Admittedly I wouldn't think to add vanilla or graham to a strawberry juice, so.. how would I find out?
 

ttatlanta

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I am really just looking for what I need to do to get store bought quality juice made at home. Do I need to mix varying degrees of 16 different things? If so, where do I find out what to mix. Admittedly I wouldn't think to add vanilla or graham to a strawberry juice, so.. how would I find out?
First off, you will need to ace your base. PG and VG are just as important as nicotine, and contribute a great deal to the taste of your liquid. It's like water for the beer brewery, not all flavors of H2O were created equal. For example, many varieties of USP glycerine have a very pronounced gelatin aftertaste, which could ruin certain recipes (but probably benefits the others).

Then you'll have to nail your "perfect" PG/VG ratio. Most of the recipe makers claim that their brainchild will work with any ratio, but I found it not to be the case at all. Switch to vaping unflavored liquid for a while, and play with the ratio until you find the most enjoyable one.

Lastly, there's no real need to do a 16 ingredient mix, unless you want to. There are plenty of vendors who sell premixed recipes, and since these are unregulated yet (at least here in the US), they are pretty cheap.
 

bobnat

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I'll add that it also takes time for your taste to develop, as it were. Things I liked and didn't like 7 months ago have changed dramatically. Another thing I've found is I need to vape at least 10ml of a juice before I know if I truly like it or not.

Also, store juices do tend to use sweeteners, supposedly copious amounts. Have you tried using them?
 

AndriaD

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Sweeteners, and commercial ejuices use a LOT of flavoring; it seems that DIYers always wanna go really chintzy on flavoring, like 5%-10%; if you use 20%-30% flavoring, you too can make GREAT ejuice. :) I do -- My strawberry & cream started off at about 31% flavoring; I've brought it down to just under 26% as my tastebuds have gradually started waking, but it's STILL better than any commercial juice I've EVER tasted. And I don't use much sweetener anymore -- usually about .35%-.4%.

Andria
 

bobnat

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Sweeteners, and commercial ejuices use a LOT of flavoring; it seems that DIYers always wanna go really chintzy on flavoring, like 5%-10%; if you use 20%-30% flavoring, you too can make GREAT ejuice. :) I do -- My strawberry & cream started off at about 31% flavoring; I've brought it down to just under 26% as my tastebuds have gradually started waking, but it's STILL better than any commercial juice I've EVER tasted. And I don't use much sweetener anymore -- usually about .35%-.4%.

Andria
Andria, now that I got my Shisha Strawberry I'll make your Strawberry and Cream at the latest % but using regular Bav. Cream as it's all I have. I've been curious about it for awhile so it's time to do it. I'll keep you informed.
 

Mattp169

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OK OK
to me it sounds like this
you have a recipe(s) you like
you tried some store stuff and thought it was better.
YOu want your recipe to be better.

Ok I have no clue what to tell you to do differently, I know what works for me
you have no clue and want help

Look at other recipes that are similar or use the same flavors you are using to get ideas
How the hell do you do that?

start here
http://e-liquid-recipes.com/
make an account
start adding in your flavors
then you can click What CAN I MAKE under flavor stash to see what other recipes people have posted that only use the flavors you have
or you can click
Search by flavor stash under Flavor Stash- this gives you recipes that have at least some of your flavors in them. Then you can see what other people add to them and what percentages they use etc to start getting ideas of how to fine tune and tweak your own recipes
 

lordmage

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First off, you will need to ace your base. PG and VG are just as important as nicotine, and contribute a great deal to the taste of your liquid. It's like water for the beer brewery, not all flavors of H2O were created equal. For example, many varieties of USP glycerine have a very pronounced gelatin aftertaste, which could ruin certain recipes (but probably benefits the others).

Then you'll have to nail your "perfect" PG/VG ratio. Most of the recipe makers claim that their brainchild will work with any ratio, but I found it not to be the case at all. Switch to vaping unflavored liquid for a while, and play with the ratio until you find the most enjoyable one.

Lastly, there's no real need to do a 16 ingredient mix, unless you want to. There are plenty of vendors who sell premixed recipes, and since these are unregulated yet (at least here in the US), they are pretty cheap.
this...
 

AndriaD

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Andria, now that I got my Shisha Strawberry I'll make your Strawberry and Cream at the latest % but using regular Bav. Cream as it's all I have. I've been curious about it for awhile so it's time to do it. I'll keep you informed.
Check around, see what the recommended percentage is for that regular Bavarian; I really have no idea. I started out, with my original recipe, using that Dx Bavarian at 6%, because that's really the max that flavor can be used without getting that sickly vomitous butyric acid flavor -- but with the regular bavarian, I have no idea what the recommended percentage is.

With the latest recipe, you can try it right after mixing, but I personally find that the lighter-flavoring recipe needs 3-7 days steep, to taste best. YMMV!!

Andria
 

Heabob

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Andria, now that I got my Shisha Strawberry I'll make your Strawberry and Cream at the latest % but using regular Bav. Cream as it's all I have. I've been curious about it for awhile so it's time to do it. I'll keep you informed.
The regular TFA Bavarian Cream is stronger than the DX version IMO.
But I've never gone above 3% with the regular one anyway.
Considering the high amounts of other flavors I doubt it would matter tho.
 

bobnat

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The regular TFA Bavarian Cream is stronger than the DX version IMO.
But I've never gone above 3% with the regular one anyway.
Considering the high amounts of other flavors I doubt it would matter tho.
I was just going through my recipes and none of them go over 3% so that's what I'm going with. I've tried it higher before and didn't care for it.
 

Khassy

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Sweeteners, and commercial ejuices use a LOT of flavoring; it seems that DIYers always wanna go really chintzy on flavoring, like 5%-10%; if you use 20%-30% flavoring, you too can make GREAT ejuice. :) I do -- My strawberry & cream started off at about 31% flavoring; I've brought it down to just under 26% as my tastebuds have gradually started waking, but it's STILL better than any commercial juice I've EVER tasted. And I don't use much sweetener anymore -- usually about .35%-.4%.

Andria
Thank you for this! All the recipes I see never have flavorings above 15% total, and I'm finding with the few I've mixed that I can't taste much of anything at that little amount and end up having to add more. I thought it was just me. Glad to know it's not. :)
 

ttatlanta

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Thank you for this! All the recipes I see never have flavorings above 15% total, and I'm finding with the few I've mixed that I can't taste much of anything at that little amount and end up having to add more.
I suggest making a small bottle of flavor concentrate and then play with it to find the right amount for your taste.
 

bobnat

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Thank you for this! All the recipes I see never have flavorings above 15% total, and I'm finding with the few I've mixed that I can't taste much of anything at that little amount and end up having to add more. I thought it was just me. Glad to know it's not. :)
It seems it's truly company and flavor dependent. We know that FA is highly concentrated and most are fine at low %, but a couple could always use a bit more. In addition, some of us are huge fans of HIC's creations, and rightly so. But other companies most definitely need more. I must admit to being a bit dogmatic about using low %, but I'm starting to loosen up on that and finding it works fine.
 

AndriaD

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Yeah, and people always give my recipes a hairy eyeball: "Are you sure that's SAFE?" Well, it's a damn sight safer than smoking cigarettes for 39 yrs! GEEZ! All these folks that for years or decades willingly inhaled every toxin that BT could think to add to coffin nails, are now worried about FLAVORING??????????? :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:

Andria
 

bobnat

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Yeah, and people always give my recipes a hairy eyeball: "Are you sure that's SAFE?" Well, it's a damn sight safer than smoking cigarettes for 39 yrs! GEEZ! All these folks that for years or decades willingly inhaled every toxin that BT could think to add to coffin nails, are now worried about FLAVORING??????????? :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:

Andria
This might help.

double_facepalm_tng1.jpg
 

AndriaD

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Now we're utilizing the web for the good stuff.


View attachment 82247
Heh.. I think I even remember that episode... wasn't it in response to Troi's mother, played by Majel Barrett? She usually caused that reaction among the command crew. :giggle:

Andria
 

bobnat

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Heh.. I think I even remember that episode... wasn't it in response to Troi's mother, played by Majel Barrett? She usually caused that reaction among the command crew. :giggle:

Andria
I believe so. I just started watching it again with my boys. I miss Q.
 

AndriaD

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I believe so. I just started watching it again with my boys. I miss Q.
He was awesome! He often caused the multiple-facepalm reaction too. :D I loved it when he showed up on Voyager -- he and Kate Mulgrew are good friends IRL.

Andria
 

BLiZZ

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Thanks for the insight, the flavor searches and enhancer details. I have used marshmallow some and EM a few times. Not very much, if any, of the sweeteners. I'll have a look through the links, avoid the facepalms and stay clear of Star Trek.

Thanks again.
 

AndriaD

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Too high % of flavourings can actually mute or really destroy the delicate ones. Can also destroy your taste buds lol..
True for some flavors, fable for others, and for the rest of it. I started out vaping my strawberry and cream at 31.5% flavoring, because THAT'S WHAT I LIKED. I wanted to taste my vape, not just smell it. And it certainly didn't "destroy" my tastebuds, because I now mix it at 20.4% flavoring, and it's just as good as ever -- my tastebuds are in much better shape after 6 yrs without smoking.

It's true that some flavors mute if used too freely -- one of my favorites is like that, Blueberry Extra by TFA... but INW shisha strawberry is most definitely not that way, nor are a lot of others. TFA's DX Bavarian Cream will taste vomitous if used at greater than 6% (thx to the butyric acid), but under that, it's a nice alternative to diketones, and if mixed with their Vanilla Swirl, makes a really authentic custard flavor.

The point being, you don't fully know what you're talking about, and shouldn't spread lies and ignorance when it's merely your opinion.

Andria
 

gopher_byrd

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Everyone's taste buds are different. There is no set in stone level of flavoring that works for everyone. That's why DIY is great, everyone can build up a recipe that works for them.
 

Smoky Blue

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It is also good to solo taste test from the lowest amount you can use, and then raise it up to where you like it.
keep a notebook on those ranges, and repeat your testing. It's a good way to relax your tongue from multi-flavored recipes, and you keep a running idea of what you like. This way if you see a recipe being mixed at an amount you know you do not like.. you will know how to adjust it.
 

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