This is a getting started guide, and how I approach making DIY. It’s a continual exploration and I’ll update these posts to reflect any new discoveries.
For the most part I utilize common principles and techniques, although we all have certain areas we customize or expand on.
There are many tutorials online, and I would suggest reading them. YouTube can be a good resource too. The majority of our supplies come from Wizard Labs in Florida and or VapeKing in Sydney.
Please read the other DIY sections first-
Do not attempt DIY until you have been vaping for at least a few months.
Some Important Guidelines-
- Don’t attempt DIY until you know your desired Nicotine and PG/VG preferences
- To save money – Don’t use nicotine in your mixes until you decide flavor preferences
- Pure Nicotine can be dangerous – I prefer to buy mine with PG/VG
- If your nicotine base is 100% VG make sure you add Distilled Water 5% approx. or PG
- When using alcohol in mixes make sure you store these in glass bottles
- When you test mixes, use a Variable Voltage device
- Use quality Atomizers like the io6 from iKenvape (510 compatible)
- Practice on just a couple of individual flavors first
- Insure ALL your concentrated flavors are in glass bottles with dropper caps
- Never microwave e liquid, Flavors or Nicotine
- Do not refrigerate or freeze Flavors. You can freeze Nicotine, although I never do
- Do not leave caps off DIY liquid for steeping unless they contain alcohol
- Prepare a Safe and Clean working environment
- Always wear safety glasses and gloves and keep hand sanitizer close by
- Rubbing/isopropyl alcohol is needed for cleaning up spills
- Keep all DIY liquids and supplies away from Children and Pets
You may wish to use software for your mixing. Most who DIY do.
Try ejuicemeup first.
Here’s a video tutorial on the software.
Nicotine and Preparation
Before you begin any DIY prepare the Nicotine at least a day in advance
Nicotine has a strong peppery taste and aroma. Obviously, this transfers to your final mix
Pour Nicotine into an open glass bowl and cover with a thin paper towel
Store it up high, away from heat and light for at least 24 hours- This will reduce the peppery aroma and taste
I purchase 48mg/ml Nicotine mixed in 100% VG
From here I mix it down to 24mg/ml with additional VG, PG, PGA, DW
On some mixes such as Tobacco I add up to 25% PG
PGA Alcohol will add Throat Hit so the PG level can be reduced in many cases
1 ml is Equal to approximately 20 drops of liquid
3 ml = 60 drops 10ml = 200 drops 30ml = 600 drops
From here we can determine how many “Percentage” drops are required for flavorings.
FYI- Standard industry bottle sizes are- 3ml, 5ml, 10ml, 30ml
For 3ml bottles or Mixes-
5% = 3 drops 10% = 6 drops 15% = 9 drops 20% = 12 drops
For 10ml bottles or Mixes-
1% = 2 drops 5% = 10 drops 10% = 20 drops 20% = 40 drops
For 30ml bottles or Mixes-
1% = 6 drops 5% = 30 drops 10% = 60 drops 20% = 120 drops
If you have 10ml of nicotine base and need 10% flavor you would put it 20 drops of flavoring.
Flavor percentages vary from manufacturer but are ultimately based on individual tastes.
Less is frequently more….. Due to steeping, always start with low percentages and work up if need be.
Let’s brew something up…….
Apple Pie from Wizard Labs by TFA.
You can use any single TFA flavor here.
The suggested flavor percentage starts at 5%
My recommendation would be closer to 10% depending on steep time
Have your tools and supplies laid out within easy reach and please, keep the kids and pets away-
Prepare a 10ml base bottle of Nicotine with your desired PG/VG percentages
If you’re not certain of your percentages try a 50/50 mix to start with and alter accordingly
- Pour 10ml of Nicotine mix into a Graduated Cylinder using a luer lock syringe or Pipette
- Transfer into a small glass bowl (Mise en place)
- Add 10 drops of flavor (5% of 10ml) or 20 drops (10% of 10ml)
- Stir with a pipette until the liquids are evenly mixed
- Grab a larger bowl and partially fill it with hot water from the tap
Just enough to allow you to place your mix bowl into it, without allowing water in-
It should float
- Allow the water to cool down. This is providing a quick steep-
For a quick representation of flavor, and to aid in learning percentages-
This gives one a rough idea of how it should mature with correct, longer term steeping
Using a clean pipette or dropper place 3 drops directly onto a clean and broken in Atomizer.
Take a few vapes and see how it tastes.
Vape at various voltages and watts too. Make notes on your preferences.
More than likely it’s going to lack richness and strength.
At this point you can experiment by adding a few extra drops, but don’t make it too rich or sweet.
- STEEPING will increase flavor perception due to aging, so it’s important not to over sweeten. The majority of juices will not taste right until steeped
- ADDITIVES – Experiment with percentages as this may add depth and improve overall flavor and taste
DIY is trial and error so experiment with your percentages but remember to take notes on everything! There’s nothing worse than creating a great recipe, and not having it recorded.
Tobacco mix using two flavors
Cigarettes contain yummy ingredients, such as chocolate and vanilla. Bakery flavors like custards, creams and pie crust are often utilized too. When we mix DIY, we should experiment, after all, we want the closest representation.
Below is an example of a basic tobacco base. Experiment from here and create your own.
TFA’s Tobacco Absolute
This is what is called a “Main” It is a base from which to build on.
Seedman’s Commercial Tobacco
This is what is known as a “Secondary Note”.
Wizard Labs sell a variety of these and each adds a distinctive overall flavor.
- Pour 10mls of Nicotine mix into your open glass bowl
- 1 single drop of Tobacco Absolute (TA)
- 10 drops (5%) of Seedman Commercial Tobacco
Additives and Extra’s: Experiment with these examples
- 1 single drops of MTS Vape Wizard (already in TA but some like extra)
- 1 drop Acetyl Pyrazine
- 5 + drops of Smooth
- 5 + drops of sweetener
- 2 drops of Vinegar
- 1 drop concentrated Lemon Juice
- 2-4 drops chocolate, vanilla, Irish Cream
- Saline- .09 saline- I drop per 3ml approx.
- I generally add about 5 drops of PGA alcohol too if none present
Unfortunately, DIY is not an exact science as flavor is subjective.
Therefore there is no definitive rule to required liquid quantities.
As I always say….It’s Trial and Error.
If you’re using flavors that contain Organic Ethyl Alcohol, or you wish to add alcohol, follow the steps as with nicotine.
This allows for much of the alcohol to evaporate, which is what you want.
For those that use a high percentage of VG, alcohol allows for a touch of extra TH or throat hit.
I find it adds body and a slight richness too.
When it comes to DIY, patience is your friend. As I’ve said before, it’s just like a good bottle of wine……
Charles Chalfant Yates
Thanks for visiting The Table