Using a personal vaporizer is one of the most popular new pastimes of the twenty-first century. Orginially developed as an aid for those who want to quit smoking, personal vaporizers have exploded into a pastime in their own right. Between the countless different kinds of vaping hardware and the thousands of e-liquid brands on the market today, youre absolutely spoiled for choices. What if you want to take things a step further and add a DIY touch to a vaping hobby? Why not try creating your own personalized e-liquid? Its easier than you think!
Important First Steps
Creating your own e-liquid isnt a particularly demanding process; the only real skill thats required is attention to details. Nevertheless, you shouldnt jump right into home-brewed e-liquid the week after you start vaping! You should get plenty of experience with different professional liquid blends under your belt before you try to make your own. You need to cultivate a palette for e-liquid in order to understand what your tastes and preferences are. Besides sampling plenty of different blends, you should also start paying attention to ingredients and proportions. This will give you a good place to start in your own explorations.
The Fundamental Basics Of E-Liquid
Most commercial e-liquids are made up of no more than four ingredients. These are vegetable glycerin, (VG) propylene glycol, (PG) nicotine, and flavoring agents.
VG & PG form the base of an e-liquid and give it its vaporizing properties. By trying out plenty of different commercial blends youll get a feel for the different vaping experiences each ingredients provides. As a general rule of thumb, VG is ideal for creating plenty of vapor, while PG distributes the other ingredients (the flavorings and nicotine) more efficiently. While a blend of these two ingredients is the most common base for e-liquid, you can also make effective juice by using exclusively one or the other.
Nicotine is obviously what gives vaping its kick. If you moved into the world of vaping from smoking tobacco, youll most likely want to incorporate nicotine into your own home brew. The good news is that pharmaceutical grade nicotine comes in very potent concentrations, allowing you to set your own dose by diluting it. (Although there is an upper limit to what you can tolerate; see cautions below.)
The flavoring agents youll be using are all freely available from manufacturers that supply the food and perfume industries. Flavor components can be broken down into natural and synthetic ingredients. If you want to stick to all-natural products you can certainly do so; it just takes a little extra research into the composition of each flavor.
Prepare For Chemistry (And Yes, Math Too)
Even though making DIY e-liquid doesnt require any complex or dangerous chemical wizardry, you should still treat it as a serious endeavor. Even though you stand to save plenty of money by blending your own juice, you shouldnt be wasteful with your raw ingredients. Youre after precision here. Mixing your ingredients properly requires a fair degree of mathematics. This is especially important when it comes to diluting nicotine. Although there are several fine e-liquid calculators available for free online, you should also work your way through the underlying math so that youre familiar with the concepts.
Whether you open up a computer file to type out your latest e-liquid blends or rely on good old pen and paper, keeping detailed notes about your efforts is very important. Its going to take you a lot of time (and more than a few spoiled batches) to perfect your e-liquid mixing skills. Nothing is more frustrating than blending up an amazingly tasty concoction and then realizing you cant remember what went into it! Thorough notes will protect your from this infuriating possibility.
Ordering The Right Raw Materials
The Internet is your trusted friend when it comes time to get your hands on the ingredients you need. You have plenty of options available for your e-liquid shopping. As youd expect, you could find virtually everything you need on a megasite like Amazon.com, but youll often get the best deals by shopping with specialty suppliers or manufacturers.
The magic words you need to keep in mind while shopping are food grade. Both PG and VG that carry this term are safe for human consumption. The same holds true for your flavorings. You also need flavors to be water soluble and resistant to high temperatures, though. Flavors that lack these attributes will change dramatically when you vape them, and a thoroughly unpleasant taste is the best-case result.
Depending on the way your tastes develop, you may ultimately need to dilute your final mixtures to make them suitable for vaping. Water serves this purpose well, but you have to stick to distilled water to preserve the flavors you create and avoid introducing unwanted contaminants. Some adventurous home blenders like to do their dilution with pure grain alcohol or vodka for an added kick. Exercise caution if you go down this path!
In case its not already clear, the bulk of the work youll be doing is carefully mixing very small amounts of liquid together. This calls for chemistry equipment. Everything youre working with is measured in millileters, so thats the level of precision youre shooting for. A basic pipette is a great investment for transferring most of your fluids. Most home brewers also like to use a syringe with a large-gauge needle for even finer control. This is especially handy for your most potent ingredients, the flavorings and the nicotine.
When it comes to containers, youll want to buy a lot of bottles. While 10 ml bottles are the standard for commercial e-liquids, 5 ml is a better size for home blending. When youre first starting out you dont want to mix large batches that wind up being unsatisfying. Even once youve gotten plenty of experience, the urge to tinker with your recipes constantly will probably mean you prefer to keep your batches small.
Once you start actually blending, the bulk of your effort will be devoted to determining what percentage of your final mix should be made up of each ingredient. The math becomes slightly complex when it comes to re-diluting an ingredient thats already diluted (nicotine and flavorings come pre-mixed in a base, usually PG). You can find recommended percentages on the sites of other home blenders. Use these as guidelines, not rules. Not only do individual tastes vary, but ingredients from different manufacturers may be more or less potent than their competitors.
While none of your ingredients have inherently dangerous properties, (with the exception of nicotines addictive appeal, obviously) you need to avoid using too much of any one active ingredient. The results will be nauseating, and this will be uncontrollably heaving your guts out nausea rather than that tastes nasty nausea. Start off with modest blends and dont load your mix with too many potent ingredients until youve had plenty of experience.
Remember to treat nicotine responsibly if you choose to use it in your blends. Keep nicotine secured when youre not using it and take the necessary steps to prevent any children in your home from getting access to it. The warning about nausea above is especially important when it comes to nicotine. Bear in mind that no commercial e-liquid maker uses a nicotine concentration higher than 36 mg per ml; youll want to stay well below that line with your own creations.
If youre ready to start creating your own e-liquid, the information youve just reviewed should give you a good general idea of what to expect. Keep reading on the subject before you start ordering supplies, though! The more you learn, the easier youll find it to become a master e-liquid brewer.