Mixing up DIY eliquids can be challenging, especially for beginners, so we'll break down the basic steps in this, our first DIY guide, and we'll provide instructions on how to perform the necessary calculations. DIY mixing is about exploration, so we'll help you get started, and after that, it will all come down to trial and error and personal preference as people all tend to enjoy different flavours. There are also online communities you can look to for recipe ideas such as ELR and DIYordie.
Equipment for small batches:
-1ml syringes for flavourings
-10ml syringes for VG and PG
-Bottle to mix into
•First, you need to select a target VG %. This will depend on device capability and preference. The most common blend is 70% VG, but if you use a little pen device, it may be too thick. In that case, you can go down to 50% VG and 50% PG.
•Since flavouring is almost always suspended in PG or at least mainly PG, we consider the flavourings to count towards your PG %. Sometimes flavours can contain alcohol as well, but for all intents and purposes, you should still count it as PG in your calculations for now. Flavourings should not exceed 30% in general, and can be as low as 5% of the overall volume, depending on the strength of the flavourings used and what you're trying to make. Most of the time, you should aim between 10-20% of your total volume to be flavouring. Whatever remains of the 30% PG figure (assuming you're making 70VG:30PG) will be your nicotine volume and PG volume. That is to say that in your "30PG" you will include nicotine solution, flavouring and PG.
•Nicotine solution is typically concentrated at 100mg/ml. To calculate how much you need to use, follow this formula:
•(desired final nicotine level in mg/ml) / (nicotine solution concentration in mg/ml) X (final desired eliquid volume in ml) = (volume of nicotine solution in ml)
eg. Say you want 3mg/ml, using 100mg/ml solution, and you're making 60ml of juice...
(3mg/ml final nicotine strength) / (100mg/ml nicotine) X (60ml of eliquid) = (1.8ml of nicotine solution)
•Now, the first step in mixing will be to put that 1.8ml of nicotine solution into your bottle. You always want to mix the smallest volumes first, and largest volumes last. This technique is called geometric dilution and is used at TheraVape. It comes directly from the pharmaceutical industry.
•Next, add your flavourings. For example, 3ml of TFA vanilla swirl (5%), 5ml of TFA strawberry (~8%).
•Then, sum up your "non-VG" ingredients:
1.8ml nic + 8ml flavouring = 9.8ml that comes out of your "30% VG."
30% of 60ml = 18ml, so subtract 9.8ml from 18ml to get your remainder of PG.
18ml - 9.8ml = 8.2ml of PG.
•Lastly, add your 70% worth of VG, which is 42ml of VG (60ml X 0.7=42ml).
This would give you a basic strawberries and cream recipe. You can also consider adding sweetener at a low percentage like 1-2% in order to add some sweetness and bring out the flavour.
And that's it! In our next guide, we'll go over using mass-based mixing for creating larger batches. We'll instruct you on how to calculate flavouring densities so you can mix faster and more accurately. Happy mixing everyone!
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