DIY e-liquid making. Where to start?
Since the early days of vaping there have always been people who preferred tinkering with their e-cigarettes, coils, tanks rather than using ready-made solutions. Not surprisingly it is the same in case of e-liquids: diluting, mixing flavors etc. It has slowly progressed to a point where people are making DIY e-liquids in their bedrooms and living rooms. These days you will find user created ratio calculators, nicotine strength calculators, e-liquid recipe calculators and other tools helping you make whatever e-liquid you may desire.
If you are a connoisseur of flavor or want to save some cash on your e-liquids you probably already thought of making your own juices. Soon, with the recent TPD regulations it may turn out to be much easier and cheaper to mix your own e-liquids rather than buy ready-made liquids from the stores since internet sales will be banned.
Nothing really complicated or dangerous if you follow a set of rules, be careful and precise.
What will I need to start making my own e-liquids?
Equipment: You will definitely need some bottles to keep your finished e-liquids in – a few 30ml glass bottles with pipettes should be enough, you can also use 10, 20 or 30ml PET bottles. Larger 100ml+ bottles are great for your nicotine bases and larger quantities of e-liquids if you prefer to make bigger batches. You will also need some syringes of various volumes (with blunt tip needles!), a precise kitchen scale may be useful, as well as some beakers and a funnel or two. You could also have some labels to mark you e-liquids, useful for putting flavors, ratios and dates on.
Ingredients: First of all, you will need a good quality nicotine base, you can buy nicotine bases with nicotine strengths of 36mg/ml, 72mg/ml or even 100mg/ml and dilute them with PG, VG or a mix of both. It would be much easier to get a nicotine base of a desired strength. Chemnovatic offers nicotine bases of various strengths and PG/VG ratios, you may choose between pure PG or VG nicotine bases or a VPG mix of a desired ratio. Which one is best for you depends on what you are looking for in e-liquid. Propylene Glycol, or PG provides throat hit and is much better flavor carrier than Vegetable Glycerin (VG) that on the other hand is much smoother on the throat and produces much bigger, denser clouds. We have covered the differences between PG and VG in a previous article on nicotine bases. Some people are allergic to Propylene Glycol, that is why eliquidflavour.co.uk also manufactures an alternative to PG nicotine bases- Bio bases (nicotine diluted with Propanediol, or Propanediol and Vegetable Glycerin mix).
Using pure nicotine without proper training and equipment is dangerous! Nicotine is a lethal poison, just inhaling the fumes may be dangerous!
Apart from the nicotine base you will need some flavorings, you may use one, if the flavor you wish to achieve is a simple fruit or a drink, or more if you want to create a more complex flavor. Sterling Flavours manufacture concentrated flavorings in over 60 flavors (simple Fruit, Sweet, Drink, Mint, Tobacco lines and a line of complex flavors).
Recipe: Already have a recipe in mind? Write it down, always write down the exact measurements of ingredients in the liquid you are making – that one time you don’t do it, you create amazing liquids and forget the ratios. You may also search online databases of e-liquid recipes, there is plenty of various recipes made by vapers, both their own concoctions and copies of well-known branded liquids.
Is it safe? What precautions do I need to take when making my own e-liquids?
Before you start mixing your own e-liquids it is a good idea to acquire some rubber gloves, laboratory glasses, hair net and an apron- you do not want to risk poisoning yourself or contaminating your nicotine bases, flavorings or the e-liquids you just made with hair or whatever you have been touching recently. Prepare paper towels and have a bin handy to wipe and dispose of any spills that may occur while you work, a mixing mat is a good purchase if you are planning to fiddle with DIY e-liquids. It is always a good idea to have the phone number to poison control written down just in case.
Next week we will go over the process of actually mixing bases, flavors, additives to receive an e-liquid. Search for some tasty recipes, you will need them later!