Personal expression is one of the great freedoms that vaping allows users. Unlike cigarettes, vaping presents a wide array of experiences. Not only are there nearly 8,000 recorded flavors across over 400 brands, there’s more user customization.
The varying degrees of sensation in the mouth, lungs, and taste buds is another underrated aspect of vape juice. All of this can be customized to whatever your liking is.
Can’t find what you’re looking for on the shelves?
Take matters into your own hands and start mixing your own vape juice!
If you’ve got your creative juices going and want to start mixing your own concoctions, then you’re in the right place. This easy guide will show you the ropes and have you vaping your own Koolaid in no time.
Prerequisites to Mixing Vape Juice
First-timers will want to master the art of vaping before continuing ahead. It’s kind of impossible to produce a flavor if you’re missing basic vaping steps. Once you’re able to produce consistent results with your vaporizer, you can focus on new and unexplored territories.
Mixing vape juice is a lot like cooking or mixing drinks, only with an even stronger emphasis on measurements. The good thing is that once you nail down the basics, the only limit is your imagination. Also, there’s a good chance that you’ll become the go-to local mixologist for vape juice once you’ve mastered it.
Basic Ingredients to Juices
Here’s what is required to make your own juice blend:
- Diluted Nicotine (optional)
- Propylene Glycol
- Vegetable Glycerin
If your vape juice includes nicotine, you’ll need to grab your own bottle. Nicotine isn’t just for smokers, it adds another layer of flavor. If you’ve never had nicotine-free juice, you might be feeling unsatisfied with all your combinations.
Nicotine comes diluted in various concentrations: 26mg, 36mg, and all the way up to 100mg. The 100mg concentration is actually preferred, as it is a nice solid number to work with while mixing. If your math isn’t especially strong, this is the way to go.
Another thing to look out for when mixing up custom vape juices is what the nicotine dilution ratio is. It will either be in VG, PG, or both.
Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin
Next, you’ll have your bases, PG and VG. This will make up the bulk of your vape juice volume, so it is important to source affordable, food-grade products. As far as which one you should use, the answer for your average vaper is going to be both.
Common concentrations include: 70(VG)/30(PG), 50/50, and 30/70. Each ratio has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s understand what PG and VG are, exactly, before continuing.
Propylene Glycol is often surrounded by myth and confusion. This is an organic compound found in many common food and household products. The most obvious comparison can be found in asthma inhalers. PG carriers medicine to the lungs the same way vaping does.
Those who use inhalers will note that PG hits the back of the throat stronger than inhaling other substances. PG makes for a great carrier of flavor, but can sometimes be too strong for people.
Vegetable Glycerin is the heavier, thicker base. VG also has a slightly sweet taste, which is important to consider when mixing vape juice. VG is less harsh on the throat and can create larger visible clouds. This makes it the perfect base for bigger, longer cloud tricks.
Okay, now we can get into the sweet stuff, or savory, whatever your preference is–we’re not going to judge your affinity for artichoke. So, when it comes to grabbing various flavors of vape juice, we recommend you not try to buy too many at once. The reason being is that you will be using very little of the flavorings to mix into your bases.
You’ll be using anywhere between 5% and 10% concentration of flavoring. Also, remember that if your formula favors PG, then your flavor will be even more prominent. Get a wide variety of flavors and watch how much juice you can make for the price of one at a local bar.
Now that you have your ingredients sorted, it’s time to prepare your workspace. The kitchen counter is fine, just lay down something to protect the surface. Now, go buy these:
Go with the cheapest plastic eye drop squeezable bottles for your first batch. If you try to go fancy with reusable glass eye droppers, you’ll get frustrated fast. This is because every bad batch you make requires you to rinse them out and dry them out each time.
This could get old fast, especially when you’re trying to get accurate measurements. Leftover water or residue can ruin everything, so just keep it simple and cheap. You can upgrade to better bottles after you’ve perfected your mixes.
No, we won’t be experimenting with flavor injections, but we will definitely be needing these. When you’re measuring liquids in the milliliter levels, you need to be able to precisely extract and deposit them. We recommend buying at least three different syringes, but it doesn’t hurt to have extras on-hand.
Whoa, we’re taking you back to high school chemistry class with this one! This isn’t a requirement, however, it does make the mixing process much easier to follow. This also prevents accidentally double-dipping your syringe from one bottle to another.
You need to have something to protect yourself from spills. If you’re going to be mixing nicotine solution, you should wear gloves and long sleeves. The reason being is that nicotine in liquid form is highly toxic and absorbs quickly through the skin.
Make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of light and space to work with. Juice mixing can be very frustrating when you can’t read numbers clearly or line up your pours.
Let’s Get Mixing!
Okay, you’ve bought all your supplies, you’ve cleaned your space, and you’ve invited your friends to be your guinea pigs. You are ready to mix. Now, if you want to do a quick test of what adding flavors can do to your e-juice, you can drop some in any premades.
This is a great idea for experimenting with a flavor that you bought, but aren’t super into. This should give you a feel of how much flavoring can change the profile of vape juice. Oh, and if you find something that works: WRITE IT DOWN.
Nothing is worse than discovering an awesome flavor combination, but you didn’t write anything down along the way. Make sure your “happy accident” is no more than one step away from reproducing it. This means you want to measure, write, drop, write some more, and so forth.
Remember, the smaller your batch, the more pronounced each drop of flavor is going to be, so inch your way up. It’s much harder to dilute than it is to increase concentration.
Start with Nicotine First
Before you think about flavor combinations, you have to nail down your nicotine concentration. Whatever you want the strength of your nicotine to be is what you’ll be using to figure out the volume. This means some basic math is required.
Basically, if you want 10% strength, then you convert it into a decimal (.1) and multiply it by your total volume. If you’re using 120ml eyedropper containers, then that will be a 12ml dose of 100mg strength nicotine.
Now, all you would do is extract that amount with your syringe, check for any air bubbles, and squirt it into your container. This is where the graduated cylinders come in handy because you have a clear guide for total volume.
Flavoring and Diluting
Okay, now for the fun part. If you have multiple flavors you want to mix, put a hard limit at 20% of total volume. If you go past that mark, you might wind up with syrupy, bitter, or overpowering flavors.
Citrus and fruity flavors do well at 5% each, these are very strong on the mouth and throat. Your lines of candy and sweet flavorings are okay at 10% each. Tobacco and savory flavors are also okay at 10%. Any array of flavorings, like a fruit punch or chocolate coffee mix you’ll want to start at 3%.
Take these numbers and do the exact same thing you did with the nicotine. For example, 3% strawberry and 3% banana flavoring in a 120ml container would be 0.3x120x2=7.2ml. Pay close attention to those decimals, don’t round up or you could be missing the mark.
Dilutions are what brings out the flavor profiles, so adding more of a flavor may ruin its profile. Usually, when you want to bring out the flavor of one note over the other, you dilute the other one. Some flavoring comes with recommended dilution levels, which can help you formulate your mixes better.
Keep in mind, though, mixing flavors together can create totally different experiences. It’s not as straight-forward as cooking. These flavor concentrations can often interact in unexpected ways. This can be awesome and it can be off-putting, but you won’t know until you try!
After Mix Tips
Okay, you’ve got your vape juice where you want it, now you want to finalize it. To do this, you’re going to want to label it first. Don’t leave anything up to chance, a cheap label can smear and make you forget what you used. Get a waterproof marker and some stickers, at least.
If you’re really serious about your mixing endeavor, spend a few bucks on a decent label maker. Also, copy your recipes down on a Word document, so you never lose them.
This is an often overlooked aspect of making your own vape juice. Steeping is similar to artisan tea-making, where your flavorings take on new profiles. When they’ve only had a few minutes to mix, their flavors tend to be sharper and muddied, almost.
Some flavorings bond together and take on a new life after steeping for a few weeks. Fans of the dessert category of vape juices will appreciate those flavors a lot more after a long steep. Steeping is part of the learning process, so brace for potential unwanted changes in flavors.
Continuing on that note about steeping, it is important that you keep your vape juices in a positive environment. This should be a safe space where the sun, heat, and moisture can’t get to it. If that means a shoebox under your bed, then so be it.
Once your juice has had proper time to steep, this is where your friends and family come in. Have all your fellow vaping buds test out your brews together. Having multiple vaporizers makes things much more enjoyable, rather than having to refill and rewick multiple times.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt having second opinions on what you’ve made. It keeps you honest and it might give you an idea as to how well your blends might sell.
Becoming a Vape Juice Connoisseur
Practice makes perfect, and there definitely is an art to vaping. When you tell people that vaping is one of your hobbies, you’ll probably get some smirks. Fellow vape enthusiasts know what you mean, though.
Vaping and vape juice mixing is a legitimate hobby, which is part of the reason why it is such an obvious path to quitting smoking. The vaping community is such a supportive network of enthusiastic people. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, introvert or extrovert, vaping is a great way to meet new people.
If you want to find more great guides like this one or to check out what’s new in the vape world, bookmark our blog. We promise only the freshest and juiciest vape content on the internet.