Chapter 7: Mixing e-liquids

Chapter 7: Mixing e-liquids

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Quick Links to sections in this Chapter:

 

Why you should mix your own e-liquid

 

Mixing your own e-liquid is increasingly popular among vapers.

There are loads of reasons that vapers used DIY e-liquid but here are the top 5:

 

  • DIY e-liquid saves you money

    A lot of people switch to vaping to save money - it's generally cheaper than smoking cigarettes.

    But making your own e-liquid could save you yet more cash.

    How much money can you save with DIY e-liquid?

    A 10ml bottle of e-liquid will cost you a little as 28p if you DIY whereas a standard 10ml ready-made bottle of e-liquid will cost a minimum of £2.99.

    That means a ready-made bottle is ten times more expensive than DIY e-liquid.

    Buying a 10ml bottle of e-liquid every two days (which is about as quickly as we get through it) will cost you about £100 a month.  That's a lot of money.

    By mixing your own, you can have the same amount of e-liquid for £10.

  •  

  • It's easy and simple to do

    You don't need any high-tech equipment to mix your own e-liquid, just a few things and a clear area to work on.

    For instructions on what to do, go to How to mix flavours.

    Mixing a whole new batch of e-liquid will take just ten to fifteen minutes (and then just a couple more to wash up).

    It's not very time-consuming and you can make as much or as little vape juice as you want at a time.

    It's definitely easy to find a recipe you want to try.

    Check out our Best vape juice recipes or browse through our collection here.

    If you're worried about the numbers getting confusing (asking yourself, "how much of this do I need to add?") then don't panic - there are user-friendly e-liquid calculators that do all the maths for you.

  •  

  • Know what's in your e-juice

    As long as you buy your flavour concentrates from a reliable source, you can be sure you know exactly what's in your e-liquid.

    You can decide what to add and what not to add when you mix your own vape juice.

    If there's something you want to eliminate, you can do that.

    For example, you can ensure you don't use any flavour concentrates with colourings in them.

    You can make sure your ingredients are safe and don't contain chemicals like diacetyl.

  •  

  • Customise your flavour

    Taste is such a personal thing.

    No two people are the same.

    Even with the range of flavours available in shortfills, there won't be a perfect ready-made vape for everyone.

    With DIY e-liquids, however, you can make it exactly to your own specifications (including throat hit, nicotine strength, potency, sweetness, mouthfeel and flavour profile) so you can find your absolute ideal vape juice.

    Create a completely personalised experience by mixing your own e-liquid and making Custom Built devices

  •  

    1. Have fun experimenting with flavour

      There are whole forums dedicated to DIY e-liquid mixing.

      Vapers enjoy creating new flavours and getting the taste just right.

      You can either start completely from scratch and come up with your own concoction or you can use any of the free recipes on the internet.

      Vapers are usually happy to share their DIY knowledge so you can find a lot of people to talk to about your new hobby.

      The great thing with mixing your own e-juice is that you can do as much or as little as you like so it can always fit into your lifestyle.

     

    Next steps

    If you decide that DIY e-liquids are for you, find out How to mix flavours or choose one of our Best vape juice recipes.

    Having decided what flavour you want to mix, you'll need to decide on your PG/VG ratio.

    Read on for 'What are PG and VG and what difference do they make?' to find out everything you need to know before making your choice.


    What are PG and VG and what difference do they make?

     

    PG and VG form the base liquid of vape juice.

    They produce vapour when they're heated, and it's this vapour that you inhale.

    Obviously, if you want to enjoy your vaping experience, you'll add flavour to the e-liquid and, if you're using vaping as a substitute for smoking, you'll add nicotine as well.

    By changing the ratio of PG and VG in the e-juice, you can change your experience of vaping.

    If you mix your own e-liquid, you can make any ratio of PG/VG you like.

    The most common is 50/50 or 30%PG/70%VG.

     

    PG and its effect

    Propylene glycol (PG) is commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry, which means it is completely safe to use in this way.

    It is used as a base liquid to carry the flavours in vape juice.

    PG is tasteless and odourless which is one of the reasons it's the best choice as a base for e-liquid (along with VG).

    It means it doesn't taint the flavour profile of the vape juice you choose.

    It has a low viscosity, meaning it is runny and flows in the same way as water.

    It's PG that carries the flavour and so, if you like a full and flavoursome vape, we recommend a high-PG e-liquid.

    PG also provides the 'throat hit' - the feeling in your throat when you inhale.

    Many vapers like this feeling as it mimics the sensation of smoking.

    However, too much PG can make the 'throat hit' too harsh and the feeling becomes rough and scratchy.

     

    VG and its effect

    Vegetable glycerine (VG) is a vegetable derivative.

    It is commonly used in the food and cosmetic industries so it is safe to vape.  

    The VG is what produces the most vapour when the e-liquid is vaporised.

    Cloud-chasers, who want a big cloud of vapour from their e-cigarettes, use a high ratio of VG to get that cloud.

    More VG means more cloud, but it also means a moister vape (VG is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture from the surrounding air).

    Because of this, it can also cause your mouth to feel dry if you vape a lot (or when you just start out) but drinking more water will solve that.

    Dry mouth can lead to 'Vaper's tongue' but you can read our tips to cure it.

    VG is thick and viscous (unlike runny PG) so it doesn't flow as quickly and it doesn't clean off your tanks very well - we recommend you are careful when pouring it as you don't want it dripping all over your e-cig.

    If you want some practical tips for cleaning your device, go to Cleaning your tank.

    VG has a slightly sweet taste even though it is classed as odourless and tasteless - it will not interfere with the flavour profile of your e-liquid but it might make it ever so slightly sweeter.

    One disadvantage to high-VG e-liquid is that VG doesn't carry flavour as well as PG does, which means that flavours can become muted.

     

    Choosing the right PG/VG ratio for your device

    When you're deciding on your PG/VG ratio, one of the most important factors to consider is the e-cig or vaping device that you're going to use the vape liquid in.

    Pen systems

    In small pen-style e-cigarettes, it is best to use 50% PG and 50% VG as the coils are not suited to high VG liquids (because VG is thick, it sticks to it and clogs it up). 

    Also, smaller devices tend to be the choice of vapers who want to be discreet (go to 'Stealth vaping' for more information about that) so they don't tend to want large clouds of vapour.

    Tank systems

    Conversely, large tank systems often need a higher VG e-liquid - typically 30% PG and 70%VG.

    This is because PG is runny and a high proportion of it can lead to problems with leaking, as well as a harsh sensation when inhaling.

    These tank systems are often designed to be used by sub-ohm vapers anyway as they are compatible with sub-ohm coils and have adjustable wattage and airflow so you can tailor your vaping experience.

    It means they're designed to have a high VG e-liquid in order to produce the maximum cloud possible.

    If you want to know more about them, go to Different devices and how they vary.

     

    Choosing the PG/VG ratio for your vaping experience

    The other important thing to consider is the vaping experience you want.

    Cloud chasing

    If you want to produce a lot of cloud, you'll need to use a high-VG e-liquid along with a tank system or all-in-one that is compatible with sub-ohm vaping.

    Serious cloud-chasers who are experienced vapers will often use a tank system which they can modify; go to Custom Built Devices to find out more about how to do this.

    Stealth vaping

    To be as discreet as possible when you vape, you'll need a high-PG e-liquid and a compatible device, usually a small pod or pen system.

    For more information about it, go to Stealth vaping.

    Throat hit

    If you like the throat hit associated with smoking then use a high-PG e-liquid.

    A lot of ex-smokers crave the throat hit because it replicates the sensation of smoking and gives them the feeling of 'having vaped' so they feel satisfied.

    If, however, you want a smoother sensation as you vape, a high-VG e-liquid will work best for you.

    It is a softer sensation as you inhale and has a thicker 'mouthfeel' which is the feeling of the vapour in your mouth.

    Flavour

    To get a flavoursome vape, you should use a high-PG e-liquid.

    It's PG which carries the flavour and you'll get a more intense taste with a high-PG solution.

    It's still possible to use a high-VG solution and get great flavour but you need to adapt your vaping style to make this happen as the VG will naturally mute the flavour.

    The first thing you can do is to increase the flavour concentration by mixing it at a higher percentage.

    The second thing you can do is use a more powerful device (or increase your wattage if it's adjustable) to create more vapour.

    Always follow the safety advice in the instruction manual and stay within the wattage and power range of your device.

     

    Flavour concentrates

    All flavour concentrates at Make My Vape come in a PG base.

    This is because PG carries the flavour and guarantees a flavoursome vape.

    When you mix your own e-liquids, you should know which base your flavour concentrates comes in so that you can adjust your calculations accordingly.

    If you use our E-Liquid Calculator, it will automatically adjust the measurements as you enter the details of your recipe.

     

    Nicotine

    You can buy nicotine shots in PG or VG base or even a PG/VG solution.  

    It means you can account for the different properties of PG and VG even when you're adding nicotine to your e-liquid.

    It's easy to calculate how much of each liquid you have in your vape juice if you know how much of each you're adding along with your flavour concentrates and your nicotine shots.

    Go to our Nicotine Level Calculator to work out exactly what your total nicotine, flavouring, PG and VG should be to make your chosen recipe.

     

    Shortfills

    Shortfills tend to come in a 70%VG/30%PG solution but different brands offer different ratios.

    You can get 75/25 shortfills or even 80/20.

    Check out our range of shortfills to find the flavour for you.

     

     Next steps

    The next thing to look at, if you're mixing your own e-liquids, is 'How to mix flavours' which explains how to mix by weight.

     

    Effects of different e-liquids on your device

     The effects of e-liquids will vary depending on which device (and particularly which coil) you are using.

    It's always best to use the vape juice that is recommended for the device.

    For a beginners' guide to which type of e-liquid to use with different device styles, go to Choosing e-liquid compatible with your device.

     

    The effect of VG

    VG is a thick and viscous liquid. 

    It leaves a little residue behind which can build up over time and stop your coil working properly.

    If the build-up stops the wick from absorbing the e-juice, then the coil won't be able to vaporise it.

    There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this happening.

    Firstly, you can use a high-PG e-liquid.

    If you're using a small device, we recommend you do this as the coil will become gunked up faster.

    Go to Features of different devices to find out which devices are suited to high-PG e-liquid and which aren't.

    However, if you're a cloud-chaser and want to produce a lot of vapour then you'll need a high-VG e-liquid.

    If that's the case, you'll have to accept that you'll get a build-up of VG over time.

    The second thing you can do to keep your coil functioning efficiently is to clean it.

    Go to Cleaning your coil if you need some guidance.

    Cleaning it will prolong its life but eventually you'll need to replace it.

    If you want to know more about what VG is and why it's used in vaping, go to What are PG and VG and what difference do they make? for a clear explanation.

     

    The effect of flavour concentrates

    Sweet-flavoured e-liquid is known to gunk up coils.

    High-sugar flavours like chocolate and bakery-flavours tend to caramelise when they are heated on the coil and they create a build-up which stops the wick absorbing enough e-liquid.

    When that happens, the coil can produce a dry hit.

    There are some easy ways to avoid this as much as possible - go to How to stop dry hits to find out what they are.

    However, if the build-up is stopping the vape juice from reaching the coil then there's only so much these tips can do.

    The only thing you can do to ensure your coil works efficiently is to clean your coil or replace it.

    If you want to try cleaning your it, you can do it fairly easily (if you are using a removable coil). 

    For a step-by-step guide, go to Cleaning your coil.

    The final step is to simply replace your coil.

    You can prolong the life of the coil by cleaning it and by making sure you look after your device but, sooner or later, you're going to have to change it.

    If you want clear instructions on how to do that, read Changing your coil - it also has some top tips for getting your coil to last longer.

     

    Next steps

    If you're looking for a new e-cigarette which will function well then check out our Recommended devices.

    Read on to 'How to mix flavours' for a practical guide to DIY e-liquids or to Best vape juice recipes if you haven't chosen your flavour yet.

     

    How to mix flavours

     

    Once you've got the hang of it, mixing your own e-liquids is easy.

    It'll also save you a lot of money.

    To get an idea of how much you could save, go to Why you should mix your own e-liquid.

    When you're mixing your own e-liquid, you can measure the ingredients by volume or by weight.

    We recommend mixing by weight as it's easier, so below is a step-by-step guide to mixing e-liquid by weight.

     

    What you need to mix flavours

    • Scales
    • PG
    • VG
    • Nicotine (if you're using it)
    • All the flavour concentrates you need for your recipe
    • A beaker to mix in
    • A glass (or plastic) bottle to put your finished e-liquid in
    • Paper towels
    • Disposable gloves*

     

    *When you're mixing e-liquid, you might want gloves to protect your hands but if you're adding nicotine, you MUST wear gloves.

    Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin and so, if you spill it on your hands, you can absorb too much.

     

    E-Liquid Calculator

    If you're mixing your own e-liquid, you'll need to calculate how much PG, VG, flavouring and nicotine to add to your e-juice.  

    It's important to get it right otherwise you could have a very strong or very weak vape juice (or a much higher or lower nicotine strength than you wanted).

    However, it's really easy to do.

    Just go to our e-liquid calculator and add in your recipe details.

    It will automatically calculate how much of each ingredient to add to get the total e-liquid you want.

    Because VG is heavier, if you're mixing by weight then you'll notice the weight for VG is higher than PG even if you're making a 50/50 solution.

    It'll still be correct.

    It's not only the weight that will affect how much PG and VG you have to add, it's your nicotine base and flavour concentrate base as well.

    Because both the nicotine and flavour concentrates will come in either a PG or VG solution (or a 70/30), the e-liquid calculator will account for that and adjust the measurements accordingly.

     

    How to mix e-liquid by weight

    1. Choose your recipe

      There are so many recipes for you to choose from.

      People in the vaping community are usually more than willing to share their recipes (especially if they've spent time perfecting them).

      As well as recommendations, you can choose from among our vast range of e-liquid recipes.

      Go to Recommended Devices to find one you fancy.

      When a vaping friend recommends a recipe to you, ask if you can try some of theirs before you make it - if you can.

      It's often best to try a recipe and see whether you like it before getting all the flavours and mixing it yourself.

      However, some vapers like the excitement of mixing a new flavour for the first time and trying it.  

      A word of warning: don't try it straight away as it will taste very different from the finished product.

      You'll get the finished product in about two weeks after you've steeped it (go to 'Steeping' to find out what this is and how to do it).

    2. Use the e-liquid calculator

      In order to get the proportions right in your vape juice, you'll need to calculate how much of each liquid you'll need.

      Go to our e-liquid calculator to get exact measurements for your recipe.

    3. Get everything ready

      We've found it's easier to get everything you'll need ready and set it out before you start.

      That way, you won't forget something because it's all there.

      It also means you don't have to keep stopping half-way through to find something (and either have to keep washing your hands or risk spreading e-liquid all over the house).

      You can use whatever you like but generally we recommend a 100ml mixing cup, even if you're only mixing 50ml - it gives you more room to stir liquids well.

      We also prefer to decant the finished e-liquid into glass dropper bottles rather than plastic ones as it's better for steeping.

      Put all the ingredients in the order you'll use them: bases first, then nicotine and finally your flavour concentrates.

    4. Re-set your scales

      You'll need accurate scales to measure your e-liquid properly.

      The scales available at Make My Vape have a 'tare' button which re-sets the scales to zero.

      This means you can re-set the scales once the container is on them, meaning you only measure the weight of the liquid.

      Remember to put your gloves on before you start pouring the liquids.

    5. Add your ingredients one by one

      Start by pouring in the amount of base liquids (PG and VG) displayed on the calculator.

      If you're using very small amounts of flavour concentrates, you can use a pipette or a syringe with the appropriate measurements on it.

      Before you add the next ingredient, press 'tare' to re-set the scale so that you only measure the weight of the new liquid you're adding.

      If you are using nicotine, add it to the base e-liquid.

      Add your flavours one at a time, remembering to re-set the scale before adding the next one.

    6. Turn your scales off

      Once you have added all your ingredients, you won't need the scales any longer.

      Turn them off and set them aside.

      If you've spilled anything, wipe it up.

    7. Transfer your new e-juice to a suitable bottle

      Whether you want to use one bottle or a couple of smaller ones is up to you.

      You can choose to use plastic or glass.

    8. Shake or stir the e-liquid

      Either stir the e-liquid when it is in the mixing cup (being careful not to spill any) or transfer it to the bottle, make sure the cap is on securely and shake the bottle to mix up the e-liquid.

    9. Customise the label

      Whether you like to make epic designs or whether you just want the facts is up to you.

      We recommend you write on the label:

      1. The name of the recipe. You can make up your own name for it but make sure you can remember what recipe it was - if you like it and want to make it again, you'll need to find it again.
        Either keep a record of the recipes you've made or make a note on the label of what it is and where you found it.
      2. The date you mixed it.This is so that you can keep track of how long your e-liquid has been steeping.
        It will stop you trying your new vape juice too early and not getting the full flavour and it will also stop you keeping it too long (although, if you store it correctly, it should have an extremely long shelf-life.
        Check out Storing your e-liquid
        to see how to store them correctly).

     

    Next steps

    Having mixed your own e-liquid, you'll want to try it out straight away but wait - read our guide to 'Steeping' and 'Breathing your e-liquid' to make sure you get the best flavour from your vape juice.

     

    Steeping

     

    When you mix e-liquid, it might need some time before being ready to vape.

    This period is known as 'steeping'.

    You need to keep your e-liquid in the right conditions for it to happen.

     

    What steeping is

    Steeping is the process by which the flavours in your e-liquid combine to create a better, stronger flavour.

    It refers to a range of techniques to speed up this process, either by warming the VG slightly (which makes it more runny, and more able to mix quickly), or by providing the right time and conditions for the mixing process to complete.

    It's a little like ageing a fine wine. 

    The science behind steeping vape juice is frankly very murky but experienced vapers agree that the flavour of e-liquid improves drastically in the weeks after it's first mixed.

    If you've been mixing your own e-liquids already, you might have discovered this for yourself.

    Steeping is part of the DIY e-liquid process.

    Other e-liquids such as ready-made shortfills are blended and steeped by the manufacturer so they're ready to vape.

    If you want the experience of creating your own blend of flavours, you're going to have to learn some steeping methods.

    Usually, this means leaving the vape juice to rest for a period of time but there are a few 'cheat' methods to speed up the steeping process, which are listed below.

    You can watch our How to Steep E-Liquid video which explains the process and the best methods in just 4 minutes.

     

    Why vapers steep their vape juice

    Some vapers simply shake their e-juice and vape.

    However, because VG is very thick and viscous, it takes a long time to mix fully.

    Shaking and mixing alone will not entirely combine the elements of the liquid.

    While it is a matter of personal taste, it is generally agreed within the vaping community that steeping a liquid - even for a few days - changes the flavour to make it smoother and more potent.

    Sometimes, leaving an e-liquid to steep can be the difference between a fairly good flavour and your all-day vape.

    How long an e-liquid should be left to steep is a subjective judgement.

    While some people are happy with the taste of their vape liquid after a very short period, others perceive an improvement in the flavour profile of some e-liquids over a far longer period (in some cases several weeks).

    There are two sets of methods for improving the flavour of a mixed e-liquid:

    1. Steeping your e-liquid
    2. Breathing your e-liquid

    Go to 'Breathing your e-liquid' to find out more about that.

     

    The best methods of steeping

    There is no one best method for steeping.

    There is only the best method for you.

    How you do it depends on a couple of things:

    • What flavours you are mixing
    • How many flavours you are mixing

    Below are some of the easiest and best methods:

    1. The natural steeping method: give it time

      Once you've mixed your e-liquid, seal the bottle and put it in a dark cupboard.

      Vapers use dark places to store and steep their e-liquids because direct sunlight can cause the nicotine and flavour concentrates to lose potency.

      For more information about this, go to 'Storing your e-liquids'.

      Some vapers recommend this method of just giving your vape juice time to steep, as the chemical reactions are given time to fully take place.

      We recommend steeping for at least 2 days.

      For the greatest results, though, leave it 7 days so you can taste the full, potent flavour you were after.

    2. Speed up the process a bit: give the bottle a shake

      As with the natural steeping method, seal your e-juice bottle and put it in a dark cupboard.  

      Once a day (or every few hours, if you can), open the cupboard and shake the bottle of e-juice. 

      This disturbs the liquid and speeds up the steeping process a little.

      Top tip: if you have a 'steeping box' (any old box will do) to keep all of your future vape juices in, you can shake all of them at once and it guarantees they will be kept in the dark.

      They're less likely to fall off crowded shelves, as well (not that you'd let that happen).

    3. Warm it up: the bath method

      One of the most common methods to speed up the steeping process is the bath method.

      Simply fill up a cup with warm water and then put your bottle of e-liquid in the water and let it sit and bathe until the water turns cold.

      The water should be warm to the touch but not hot - hot water will degrade the nicotine and flavour concentrates and potentially melt the bottle, not to mention being unnecessary (the VG only needs to warm slightly to lose viscosity).

      As the water cools, you can top it up and do the whole thing again as often as you like, according to your taste.

      If you want to protect your bottle and the e-liquid a little bit more, you can put it in a sealed bag.

      Some vapers prefer to use a glass bottle for heating methods of steeping as glass retains heat better than plastic but it does take longer to warm up in the first place (it also takes longer to cool down so your e-liquid retains heat for longer).

    4. Vibrations: use an ultrasonic cleaner

      This is a good method to use if you happen to own an ultrasonic cleaner for vape gear or jewellery (not quite as unlikely as it may sound to a novice - it's one of the recommended methods for 'Cleaning your tank').

      Simply fill the ultrasonic cleaner with warm water, put the bottle of e-juice in and let the vibrations do the rest.

      It agitates your e-liquid the same way that shaking does, but in a more controlled and consistent way.

    5. Alternative steeping methods

      You can find a lot of 'crazy' ways to steep your e-liquid if you search the internet but not all of them are safe.  It's important to use your common sense.

      Remember that high temperatures (as you'd get from a microwave or boiling water) will degrade your e-liquid and possibly melt the bottle.

      It's also unnecessary to heat the liquid very much.

    6. Seed steeping

      Some vaping blogs claim you can speed up the process by 'planting the seed' of it in your e-juice.

      They say that, when you blend an already-steeped e-liquid with a fresh batch, it encourages the steeping process.

      This is highly unlikely.

      It's much more likely that the fresh batch simply tastes better more quickly because a portion of it had been steeped well enough to get the full flavour profile.

     

    How long to steep your e-liquid

    You will come to learn how long you need to steep your e-juice in order to suit your taste but there are ways to get it right faster rather than relying on trial and error.

    Keep a record

    One way to ensure you steep your e-liquid for the right time is to keep track of how long each individual flavour or combination of flavours was steeping before it matured into the ideal vape for you.

    Whether you want to make a quick note on the bottle or have a fully-developed spreadsheet system is up to you.

    Keeping track of this, though, will help you plan your mixing schedule so you can make sure you never run out of your favourite vape juice.

    Test them regularly

    You can also test your e-juice at intervals and make a note of how it tastes so you can get an idea of when it matures into the best flavour.

    One way to do this efficiently is to use a drip tip so you only need to add a few drops of the steeping e-liquid at a time and you can test out a range of your DIY flavours quickly.

    If you want to know more about this, go to 'Drip tips' to find out what they are and how to use them.

    To help you get an idea, there are a few rules of thumb.

    Recipes

    Complex flavours take longer to steep than standalone or simple mixes.

    That's because there are more flavours to combine and they need time to do this.

    If you've gone to the effort of adding subtle hints of a flavour to your mixture, you want to get the benefit from them.

    Give them at least 2 weeks to steep. 

    Standalone flavours

    Standalone flavours can take less time to steep but it largely depends upon the type of flavour.

    1. Menthol flavours don't require much steeping time.  They are potent flavours and don't need the lengthy steeping time of a subtle blend.  Often, a few days is all that you need. For a real icy flavour, try Menthol Arctic.
    2. Fresh fruit flavours can often be watery and take less time to steep.  They only need a moderate steeping time of about 1 week before they're ready to vape.  Try refreshing Watermelon if you like fresh fruit flavours.
    3. Sweet and rich fruit flavours can have a thicker, creamier body which requires more steeping time in order to let that body develop.  Leave them to steep for between 1 and 2 weeks. Mango is a perfect example of this sweet fruit flavour that is worth waiting for.
    4. Tobacco flavours have subtle variations which emerge over time as they are steeped.  Leave them to steep for 1 to 2 weeks to get the most from them. Tobacco flavours with creamy or caramel-overtones (like Tatanka Tobacco) will probably need the latter end of that time-scale.
    5. Dessert flavours, particularly cream or custard-based flavours, take a little longer to steep.  A lot of them benefit from being left to steep for 2 to 4 weeks. A perfect example of this creamy base-flavour is Nonna's Cake and you can see that it's steeped to perfection after 2 week in the delicious Perfect Creamcake recipe.

     

    Next steps

    Some vapers recommend 'Breathing your e-liquid' so check out what it is and how to do it.

    If you want to mix your own e-liquids but don't know what recipe to try first, go to our 'Best vaping recipes' for some favourite recipes from fellow vapers.

     

    Breathing your e-liquid

     

    Some vapers like to 'breathe' their vape juice while they're steeping it.

    What breathing e-liquid is

    Breathing e-liquid is when you allow oxygen to come into contact with your e-juice for an extended period of time.  Basically, taking the cap off the bottle to let the air in.

     

    What it does

    This is a matter of personal taste.

    Some vapers think that allowing liquid to breathe is the best way to quickly eliminate any 'chemical' or perfume-like taste and smell.  

    However, exposing the liquid to oxygen over a long period of time will lead to oxidation, which could lead to a deterioration, both in flavour and the potency of the nicotine.

     

    How to breathe your e-liquid

    1. Open the bottle

      To breathe your vape juice, take the cap off the bottle and allow it to stand for two or more hours.

    2. Put it in a secure place

      Leaving the cap off will make it more likely to spill.

      It's best to keep it in a place that's out of the way and not likely to be disturbed (a high shelf, for instance).

      For a practical guide to keeping your vape juice safe, go to Storing your e-liquids.

    3. Keep it away from children

      Vape liquid should always be kept in a safe place, away from children and pets, but this is particularly important if you're leaving the lid off the bottle.

      You should always supervise a child around e-liquid to ensure they don't spill it or ingest it.

      It's also important to make sure they don't get it on their skin, especially if it has nicotine in it, as this can be absorbed through the skin and cause them to feel ill.

      If you want to learn more about storing and transporting your e-liquids safely, go to How to use your device safely.

    4. Put it away safely to continue steeping

      It is not advisable to leave the cap off for more than about 12 hours.

      Some vapers think that breathing their e-liquid speeds up the steeping process but it is not a replacement for steeping.

     

    Next steps

    If you're new to DIY e-liquids, check out How to mix flavours and Best vape juice recipes for some great tips.

    As well as breathing your e-juice, you need to steep them so go back to Steeping to find out what it is and what the best methods are.

     

    Best vape juice recipes

     

    With vape juice - like everything else - everybody has a different favourite and what you like depends on your taste buds.

    These days, there is a huge range of flavour profiles to choose from when you're buying e-liquids, whether that's shortfills or flavour concentrates: berry fruits, tropical fruits, citrus, mint and menthol, tobacco, herbs and spices, sweets, drinks, cakes, custards and creams.

    When you're making your own e-liquid, though, the possibilities are almost endless!

    From fruit mixes to cocktails, sweets, desserts and cakes as well as menthol mixes and tobacco blends, everybody can find their all-day-vape when they mix their own e-liquids.

     

    Beginners' E-liquid recipes

    When you first start mixing your own e-liquid, you may be overwhelmed by the choice.

    There are thousands of recipes available for free on the internet.

    Our advice to you is to narrow down your search, at least to start with.

    Asking other vapers to tell you their favourite DIY recipe is a good way to expand your horizons but you might not want to try that straight away.

    They may have completely different taste from you, or they may be very experienced at mixing e-juice and recommend a complex recipe they've spent years perfecting.

    Instead, use what you already know.

    You know what e-liquids you have enjoyed vaping most, so start with an idea in mind of what type of mix you want to make first (whether that's sweet or sharp, for instance).

    Once you have decided what type of recipe you want, browse through some and pick out a few simple ones.

    There can be very complex recipes with more than ten flavour concentrates mixed in at miniscule percentages and, once you start to become an aficionado, you'll be able to taste the subtleties of these mixes.

    However, it's not necessarily the best place to start.

    Choose a simple recipe to begin with so you can learn how to measure accurately and how to mix and store your DIY vape juice.

     

    How to choose your vape juice recipes

    It's easy to find vape juice recipes.

    Other vapers will tell you their favourites and you can search the internet easily.

    Go to Good resources for DIY e-liquid mixers for links to some great vaping communities.

    Read on for links to the Make My Vape recipe page and our favourite flavours.

     

    Make My Vape recipes

    We have hundreds of recipes available for the vaping community to try out.

    Check out our range of recipes here.

    If you already have a Make My Vape favourite recipe, you can search for it directly on our recipe page.

    We know how time-consuming it is to browse through recipes trying to find ones with the flavour you want to try out (or the flavours you have to hand), so we have an easy-to-use 'build a recipe' tool which filters the recipes when you add in the flavours you want to use.

    It means you can just type in which flavours you want to use and you'll see a range of recipes which contain it.

    All you have to do then is choose which one you want to try first.

     

    Flavorah recipe book

    We (like most vapers) are always willing to share our great finds with others so check out this recipe book by Flavorah.

    Flavorah is a very popular brand of vape juice flavour.

    You might have tried their flavour concentrates before, in which case you know you're getting quality products.

    Browse their flavour range here.

    Their recipe book is a free resource for the DIY vapers' community.

    It's been compiled by Flavorah from the online vape community and forums, so you may have already come across some of the contributors.

    The recipe book is fairly comprehensive but it's also easy to navigate.

     

    Our recommendations

    We can't claim everyone will love our favourites but we can recommend them to you - try them out and see for yourself.

    1. Fruit

      For a rich fruit mix, try the unusual recipe Plumbo.

      It's a blend of plumb and pomegranate with a zesty lime twist.

      Watch our YouTube recipe video for Cool Mango.

    2. Drinks

      If you want to recreate your favourite drink flavour with a festive twist for the party season, then check out Festive Jaegerbombs or treat yourself to a tropical cocktail-flavour with the classic Lemon and Lime Mojito.

    3. Sweets

      To bring back childhood memories, you could vape the familiar taste of your favourite sweets with Yummy Gummy or Fudgealicious.

    4. Dessert

      To get a little indulgence in your vape, why not go for Strawberry White Chocolate

      It's thick and creamy with a ripe strawberry taste.

      Mint Choc Ice Cream is exactly what it says it is - try it for yourself.

      You won't be disappointed (at least, we weren't).

      Watch our YouTube video recipe for Strawberry Ice Cream and follow along to make this refreshing and sweet mix.

    5. Bakery

      For a total treat, make Chocolate Croissant.

      It's a sweet pastry mix that has the glorious taste of dessert with none of the calories.

    6. Menthol

      If you like menthol but want to add a little twist of your own, you could try playing with Fire and Ice.

    7. Tobacco

      Vapers who have recently switched from smoking often like to get a taste of tobacco when they vape, but why keep it plain?

      Try Cuban Custard for a delicious blend of tobacco with a hint of  creamy vanilla custard.

     

    How to adapt recipes

    One of the best parts of mixing your own e-liquids is the experimentation with flavour.

    Obviously, trial and error means that sometimes it can go wrong.

    You soon learn how to adapt recipes to suit your own taste, though.

    A common mistake new DIY mixers make is assuming that all brands have similar flavours.

    For example, it's probably fair to say that every e-liquid brand has at least one strawberry flavour concentrate but they are very different (some are 'realistic' whereas others are 'candy-like').

    Therefore it's fine to substitute flavours in a recipe but bear in mind it will change the taste of the mix.

    As you get more experienced and find the flavours that work best for you, you can substitute flavour concentrates appropriately.

    For some excellent resources about the different range of flavours available, go to 'Good resources for DIY e-liquid mixers'.

     

    Making your own e-liquid Recipes in 7 simple steps

    As well as adapting other recipes, you can make up your own.

    To come up with your own e-juice recipe:

    1. Write down some flavours you think will work well together (for example, banana and custard)
    2. Decide which brands you will use (to get the right 'type' of flavour, like a creamy custard rather than a vanilla custard, perhaps)
    3. Decide how strong you want the relative taste of each flavour to be (do you want a heavy banana taste or just a hint of it?)
    4. Test the flavours: you can get a good idea about what percentage range a flavour should be mixed at but you probably need to experiment to find the strength that works for you, so mix a small test batch with several percentages so you can see which you prefer (for example, mix the custard flavour at 2%, 3% and 4% to see whether it is too subtle or too potent).  If you've vaped the flavour before, you'll already have a good idea about what strength is right for you.
    5. Work out what percentage you'll mix each flavour at (for a hint of banana, you might want only 0.5%, for example, depending on how strong the flavour concentrate is).  For more information about how different brands and percentages affect flavour, go to 'Getting the best flavour'
    6. If you're really looking to create the perfect blend then make several sample batches, each mixed at varying relative strengths so you can tell how the flavours interact with each other (you might find that the custard overpowers the banana and you need to either reduce the custard or increase the banana, depending on what you know about the way the flavour tastes at varying percentages.  It could be that the banana flavour tastes too 'ripe' at high percentages so you don't want to increase that, which means reducing the custard strength is the way forward)
    7. Decide which of the sample batch was the one for you (or repeat step 6 if none of them were perfect yet) and mix as much of your bespoke recipe vape juice as you like.

     

    Next steps

    If you want to find out more about the range of flavours available to you, read on togo to 'Good resources for DIY e-liquid mixers'.

    Below that you will find Getting the best flavour to make sure you get the most out of your vaporiser.

     

    Good resources for DIY e-liquid mixers

     

    There are a lot of resources out there on the internet and it's easy to type in your question and get an instant answer.

    However, we recommend you only take advice about vaping from trusted sources.

    If you want to talk to one of our vaping experts at Make My Vape, ring us on 01707 566056 and we'll be happy to talk you through any part of the process.

    Alternatively, you can email us at support@makemyvape.co.uk and we'll respond to any questions you have.

    Our stores in Luton (Bedfordshire) and Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire) are open weekdays so pop in and see us - we're happy to help.

    Flavour concentrates

    Watch our 'What are E-Liquid Flavour Concentrates' video to learn what they are and how to use them.

    Find out what the difference is between all of those Vanilla flavours here.

    Check out some of our popular Chocolate and Cake flavours in our Easter Treats post.

    Learn what those Shisha flavours actually taste like here.

    Discover what those Weird and Wacky flavours actually are and what to mix them with here.

    Recipes

    Go to our recipes page for our full range of recipes or check out 'Best vape juice recipes' for our top recommendations.

    There are loads of resources on the internet for DIY vapers these days.

    One of the best is Reddit as it's a global community sharing what they know about e-juice.

    Flavorah are a well-respected manufacturer of flavour concentrates for e-liquid and they have compiled a comprehensive recipe book of Flavorah mixes from online vaping communities.

    Other online forums such as Planet of the Vapes have plenty of reviews, guides and e-liquid news.

     

    E-liquids

    Buy your PG and VG here for top quality e-liquid.

    Watch our video to find out what VG is and what PG is.

     

    Mixing e-liquids

    Watch our YouTube videos about mixing e-liquids here.

    Go to 'How to mix flavours' for a step-by-step guide.

    If you're unsure, you can watch our How to use an E-Liquid Calculator video which takes you through the process step-by-step so you can be sure you're getting it right.

    Buy everything you need to mix your own e-liquid here or, if you're starting out, you can buy a DIY Mixing Kit that has everything you need included and ready for you to use.

    You can look on the internet for the answer to any question but always be aware of where the answer is coming from.

    With vape juice, and vaping in general, it's best to go to a trusted source.

    One good resource we want to share with you is the Reddit vaping community - check out their answers to New Mixers' Questions.

     

    Devices

    Browse through our range of starter kits and read about 'Choosing a Vaping Device' if you're just starting out.

    For more experienced vapers, go to 'Custom Built Devices' to learn more or check out our range of mods and RDAs.

     

    Next steps

    If you're starting out as a DIY mixer, go to 'How to mix flavours' for a step-by-step guide.

    If you're not sure whether DIY mixing is for you, head over to 'Why you should mix your own e-liquid' to find out what the benefits are.

    For those vapers looking to develop their vaping experience, check out Custom Built Devices so you can tailor your e-cigarette and e-liquid to suit your style perfectly.

    Getting the best flavour

     

    Some vapers want to produce cloud and some want to taste flavour.

    If you want the best flavour you can get, read on.

    Below are six things you can do that will help to enhance the taste of your e-liquid as you vape.

     

    Use your PG/VG ratio to produce flavour

    PG is the base e-liquid which carries the flavour.

    It doesn't produce much cloud and it can be used at a high ratio in most devices.

    The only thing to watch out for is that, the higher the PG ratio, the stronger the throat hit.

    How much throat hit you like is a matter of preference.

    A lot of vapers who like flavour in their vape use either a 50/50 base or a 70/30 of PG and VG.

    If you want to be a cloud-chaser then you'll need to use VG and Custom Built Devices which tend to be used to produce a lot of vapour.

    Go to 'What are PG and VG and what difference for they make?' for a more detailed explanation about the difference between PG and VG.

     

    Get the right device for vape flavour

    High-PG e-liquid can be used in almost any device (unlike thick VG) so if you're looking for taste, you have a wide range of options to choose from.

    It's best to choose a vaping device that has adjustable settings (like a tank system or an all-in-one), particularly airflow, so you can adapt it according to your taste.

     

    Change e-cigarette settings to maximise flavour

    Most tank-systems have adjustable airflow.

    As a general rule, the more airflow you have, the more cloud you get but the less flavour.

    Therefore, to get more flavour, you need to reduce the airflow.

    This makes it a tighter draw, more like a cigarette, but you get the full taste of your e-liquid.

     

    Use the mouth-to-lung style

    Mouth-to-lung is the best way to inhale if you want the maximum taste from your vapour.

    That's because you're holding it in your mouth for longer and can taste it for longer.

    If you want to know more about the different inhaling techniques, go to How to inhale properly.

     

    Find the right flavour concentrates

    Different flavour concentrates have different strengths.

    This can depend upon the flavour profile and the brand itself.

    You will need to experiment with each one you buy to find the right percentage for you to mix it at.

    Some very potent flavour concentrates need to be mixed at 0-2% which means there is a lot of difference in 0.1%.

    Others have a much wider range and can be mixed at 5-20% according to your taste.

    For example, Flavorah, FlavourArt and Inawera concentrates tend to be strong so you don't need much to get the potent flavour you want (approximately 0-5%).

    Pope & Brewers, Capella, Flavor West and The Flavour Concentrate Company are generally mixed at around 15%.

    If you mix at the right percentage, you'll enjoy the full flavour of your vape juice.

     

    Use a drip tip

    A drip tip allows you to drip your e-liquid directly onto your coil.  It's used by flavour connoisseurs who like to change vape juice a lot, as it allows you to change e-juice almost instantly.

    Because you're dripping e-juice directly onto the coil, there is much less chance of the coil becoming gunked up so your coil will last longer and perform better, giving you the great flavour you want.

    Go to 'Drip tips' for more information about what they are and how to use them properly.

     

    Replace your coil

    If your coil is not working efficiently, it will affect your flavour.

    Whether it's because it is old or has simply been used up, if your wick is saturated with sticky flavours or it's not absorbing the e-liquid quickly, it's best to replace it.

    'Cleaning your coil' can help but sometimes it's best just to put a new one in to guarantee the full flavour.

    If you're vaping high-PG e-liquids, your coil should last slightly longer since it is the thick and sticky VG that clogs the coil up.

     

    What to do if you can't taste e-liquid flavour

    There could be a number of reasons you can't taste your e-liquid.

    If it's only your vape you can't taste (and not a general health problem), it's probably one of the following - these are the most common reasons but aren't the only ones.

  • Mix the flavours at the right percentage

    Just because you mix one at 3% doesn't mean you can mix every flavour concentrate at 3% and get the same potent taste.

    Different flavours have different profiles and different brands have different concentrations.

    It's a matter of testing them out and finding what works for you.

    You can get a head start by using the vaping communities that are online (or in your local area if you're lucky enough to have one nearby) - people are usually willing to share their experience if you want to know what sort of range you should mix a certain flavour at.

    Use one of the Good resources for DIY e-liquid mixers to get your answer.

  • Steep your e-liquid

    To get the full flavour from your vape juice, you should steep it.

    Some vapers prefer to 'shake and vape' as soon as they've mixed it but, if you're struggling to taste your e-liquid, try steeping it.

    It'll improve the flavour and it only takes a few days. Go to Steeping to find out how.

  • Your flavour is 'ghosting'

    If you vape one flavour and then fill your tank with a different one straight away, you'll find the old flavour 'ghosting' through.

    For tips on how to stop that happening, go to Cleaning your coil or (to find out the easiest way to clean your tank) go to Cleaning your tank.

  • Don't take dry hits

    Check out 'How to stop dry hits' if you're ruining the taste of your vape juice with the burned taste of a dry hit.

  • You might have vaper's tongue

    This is when a vaper suddenly stops being able to taste their vape.

    It's not serious, it only stops you enjoying your vaping as much as you should.

    It's easy to cure - go to Vaper's tongue to find out how.

  •  

    Next steps

    If you're looking to get the best flavour from your vaping device, go to 'Changing settings' to find out how adjusting the settings affects the vaping experience.

    If you're looking for some delicious recipes to try out, go to 'Best vape juice recipes' for our personal favourites.

    Check out our Top 5 tips for making the best vape juice.

    Top 5 tips for making the best vape juice

     

    Even if you've read all of the instructions, it's still best to get some tips from experienced mixers.

    At Make My Vape, we have a lot of experienced DIY e-liquid mixers ready to share their top tips:

     

    Top tips for mixing the best e-liquid

    1. Avoid cross-contamination

      This is the simplest change you can make to improve the quality of your e-juice, but it's one of the most effective.

      Flavour concentrates are strong and even a small amount of one getting into the wrong place will affect the taste profile of your e-juice.  

      To ensure you don't cross-contaminate your flavours, wash your syringes and measuring jug (and anything else you use to mix your e-liquid) with warm water and washing-up liquid.

      Rinse thoroughly with warm water to make sure there are no traces of soap or vape juice left on them.  

      As well as making sure you don't cross-contaminate your e-juice while mixing it, make sure you don't do it when putting it in your e-cigarette.

      For clear instructions, go to Cleaning your tank and Cleaning your coil so you can make sure you don't cross-contaminate your e-liquid and keep the taste pure.

      Keep your mixing area clean and clear while you're mixing.

      You should only have the things you need in the mixing area while you're doing it.

      Make sure you've got enough room so it's not too cluttered.

      One last way to avoid cross-contamination is to wipe up spilled e-liquid immediately.

      This ensures it doesn't get on any of the equipment and end up where it shouldn't.

    2. Keep a record of your mixes

      As mentioned in the earlier section on Steeping, it's best to keep some kind of record of your mixes.

      You can choose to do this in the way that suits you, whether that's to keep a spreadsheet or a log book or just write the details of that mix on the label, but we really recommend that you do it.

      Otherwise you'll spend time experimenting with flavour and ratio until you have the perfect vape juice and then won't be able to remember what went into it.

      Make a note of:

      • What flavours you put in
      • What percentages you mixed them at
      • What PG/VG ratio you used
      • What nicotine strength you used (if any)
      • When you made it
      • How long you steeped it for

      As you develop your mixing, you'll be able to refer back to other e-juice you made to get an idea of how strong you want a flavour even if you're making a completely new recipe.

      You'll also start to learn how long you like your e-juice steeped.

    3. Measure accurately

      Whether you're mixing by weight or volume, it's important to measure accurately.

      To measure accurately by weight, you need precise scales and to measure accurately by volume, you need a syringe or pipette with the correct measurements on them (use the smallest syringe you can for the amount you need as this will ensure the measurements are as accurate as they can be).

      Being precise in your measurements means that you can replicate your results when you find an e-liquid that tastes great, and it means you get the true taste of a recipe when you mix it.

      1. Experiment

      Have fun experimenting with flavour combinations.

      Go wild and let your imagination lead you to new and exotic e-liquid flavours.

      Even if you decide on a set of flavours, changing the percentages will give each new batch a whole new taste.

      Mix small batches of new recipes to test (and make a note of what they are) so you can try lots of things.

      Also, this means if you mix something truly disgusting, you won't need to get rid of a lot of e-liquid.

      Mixing small amounts of e-liquid to test is not just part of the fun, it will help you to develop the flavours that are right for you.

      The great thing about DIY e-liquid is that you get to create a vape liquid that is tailored specifically to your own tastes.

    4. Use glass bottles

      Buying glass bottles is slightly more expensive at the outset but they'll give you the best e-liquid flavour possible and they'll last much longer than plastic ones.

      Glass bottles are less reactive than plastic ones.

      Over time, plastic will start to react with your e-liquid and will contaminate the flavour.

      You'll get a much purer flavour from a glass bottle.

      Many glass e-liquid bottles are coloured so that not as much light gets through.

      As we saw in Steeping and Storing your e-liquids then you'll know that light causes a reaction in e-liquid and degrades the flavour and the nicotine.

      To get the best flavour, you need to keep them in the dark.

     

    Next steps

    One way to make sure you're Getting the best flavour from your e-liquid is to get the best device.

    Go to Custom Built Devices for more information.

    Chapter 8: Custom Built Devices >>>

    <<<Chapter 6: Troubleshooting

     

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