How to Mix DIY e-Liquids
Guides & Videos on Making e-Juice
This is a getting started guide on how to make your own e liquids. It’s an enjoyable, cost-effective pastime, as well as an exploration of our own creativity. Much like cooking, baking or beverage making, there are some basic principles and techniques that we can follow, as well as adhering to common-sense safety guidelines.
Nicotine needs to be used with extreme caution. Please keep locked away from all children, pets and other adults. It is preferable to have had previous experience with Flavour Doublers prior to getting started with DIY mixing. More on this below.
Although I’ll make some important points, if you would rather skip all the text, you can jump to the videos instead –
The Simple Alternative – Flavour Doublers
For those that desire nicotine, many begin their DIY adventure by buying “Flavour Doublers” and simply adding their own nicotine. The flavours are already mixed so it’s a fairly full-proof method, as well as a sensible starting point for those wishing to eliminate the trial and error process of flavour pairing and percentages.
I think it’s a logical starting point. Mixing with Doublers.
Methods of Mixing
There are two methods you can use for DIY. One being mixing by weight, the other by volume and or using drops. Mixing by weight is more accurate but more involved, and requires an accurate Digital Scale. Start with the volume method which is more than adequate when beginning and or experimenting. Many mixers utilise this method long-term.
Before You Begin
If you haven’t already, I suggest you read our other DIY posts prior to mixing. In particular-
Mixing – Getting Started
Eliminate nicotine if you’re new to DIY mixing. Get more comfortable and gain a little experience with the software and mixing process first, reducing the possibility of wasted nicotine.
Here’s a checklist before you begin –
- Have a clean table to work on, as well as a spill tray and a rag
- Supplies – Clean all Bottles, Droppers, Graduated Cylinder, Syringes and or Pipettes
- Keep children and pets locked away from the room
- Ensure you are rested and focused on the task. Do not allow interruptions
- If and when you decide to work with Nicotine, wear gloves
Flavour Percentages & the Golden Rule
The most important part of mixing is getting the right balance and percentages of flavours. I talk a lot about percentages, but finding what works for you is simply trial and error. More times than not, the golden rule is “Less is More.” In some respects, this has to do with steeping, or homogenising. It also relates to the importance of subtlety.
There are additional resources with advice and discussions relating to DIY mixing. I have a post on these – Software and Mixing Sites
Basic Starting Recipe
An easy starting recipe is butterscotch vanilla bean ice cream. The recipe is simple yet delicious and uses only two flavours. These also happen to be ones that I recommend you have on-hand. (They can double as good sweeteners for many profiles)
- Flavor West (FW) Butterscotch Ripple 4-5%
- TPA or FW Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 5%
Mixing software is invaluable and essential for most mixers, it’s also very simple to use. It provides us with accurate measurements and the percentages needed for all of the ingredients. I prefer using “eJuice me up” which is available as a free download here. This first example video covers a different recipe that I haven’t tried but the same principals apply.
Introduction To Software
Thanks to Robert Bartram for making this YouTube video.
If you do decide to mix without nicotine, simply place a zero in the top mg box that covers Nicotine Strength e-Juice. Don’t forget to put values in the Target PG and VG area, just above the comments & notes section.
- I generally suggest mixing only 10 ml batches and work up from there once you gain more experience.
The additional videos are rather comprehensive and a tad overwhelming at first. Watch them a few times before you start to mix. You may prefer to use Jordan’s suggestion on software and that’s fine, I’m just familiar with the one above.
Measurements – Percentages
- The adopted formula for using the volume-drop system is 1 ml equates to 20 drops of liquid
- If you have a 10 ml Base and need 2 % of a given flavour, you would add 4 drops of flavouring
Recommended flavour percentages vary between the various brands-manufacturers, but are ultimately based on individual tastes. Always start with low percentages and work up if need be. It’s easy to add, much harder to subtract.
10 ml Bottle Mixes
1 % = 2 drops
5 % = 10 drops
10 % = 20 drops
30 ml Bottle Mixes:
1 % = 6 drops
5 % = 30 drops
10 % = 60 drops
A quick & simple means of experimenting
When I’m developing recipes, I often use a simple method. I simply pour 28 ml of 50% PG & 50% VG into a 50 to 120 ml glass or plastic bottle, and use the calculator to determine flavour percentages and how many drops I need. The larger bottles offer more empty space, which allows for better blending when shaking the bottle. This mixing method isn’t 100% accurate but it’s close enough for many.
Testing Your Mixes
Once a mix is ready to test, experiment with whatever device or devices you use. Try various wattage settings to determine preference. Depending on your hardware, you may wish to try additional coils, at both a higher and lower resistance. Make sure you take notes on the recipe and results. More than likely fresh mixes are going to lack some richness, depth and body. They may be a tad flat or even one-dimensional. Don’t panic at this stage, there may well be additional steps that can bring you much closer to what you’ve envisioned.
The importance of Time – Steeping
One of the most important aspects of experimenting with recipes is steeping. This is where much patience is needed and where many find themselves compromising. Always steep a complete bottle for at least a week. Now compare the steeped batch with a freshly made batch.
Be aware that when using low percentages of flavours or additives, steeping becomes even more important. Many may not be very noticeable as a shake and vape, and just like wine or a matured cheese, good things come to those who wait.
Read the post Labelling, Steeping and Storage. There are tips on how to speed up the process.