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Ultimate DIY E-Liquid Guide - Making Your Own Vape Juice - Part Two
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Ultimate DIY E-Liquid Guide - Making Your Own Vape Juice - Part Two

Warm water bath -  There is some doubt about the actual viability of this method. Nevertheless, the theory is that warming the liquid then agitating it will thin your VG and allow the flavor molecules, nicotine, and PG to bind to it more readily. Ultrasonic cleaner - Placing the sealed bottle in a bath of room temperature water in an ultrasonic cleaner will shake the liquid with tons of tiny pulses of sound. This is effectively an attempt at speed-steeping the juice through a ton of shaking, but avoiding the manual labor. This surely will have an effect, but no one of these steeping methodologies will compare to the final option. Time - There is no true substitute for just waiting. As your juice ages and it is regularly agitated the flavors will mix, some of the volatiles will evaporate out of the mixture and allow the flavors to more fully marry. No shortcut will ever truly compare to just letting your juice sit in a cool dark place for a few day or weeks while the components fully integrate into one homogenous delicious liquid. Now, there is no magic number for steep time. Many fruit flavors are good to go right away and will be ready to vape on day one. Oftentimes however complex bakery, dessert, and tobacco flavors will benefit from a bit of time on the shelf. Some will round into form within a few days to a week and others may not truly be at their best until they've sat for a month. Your best bet is to shake them up a bit, taste them and evaluate if you're satisfied with the results as time passes.

Tips and Tricks

These aren't just tips for beginners, but for intermediate and advanced vapers as well. Just because you have been making your own juice for a good while doesn't mean you can't elevate your game. Layer your flavors - There oftentimes isn't a single concentrate that will net the exact profile you're looking for. Strawberry is a great example. Layering multiple strawberry concentrates together will allow you to dial in a more natural or a more "candy" or artificial fruit flavor depending on what you're using. There are plenty of times where a single flavor will hit the mark you're looking for, but if you can't get it quite where you want it, don't be afraid to add two or three different flavors in the same profile to try to accent their most positive traits and hit your mark. Premake your flavor base - You don't have to mix each bottle from scratch! If you've got a given combination of flavors that you like, there's no reason you can't pre-mix a larger batch of those concentrates together for use in mixing individual bottles later. An example: Presume you're using that Mustard Milk recipe above. You know you're using 6% TFA Strawberry and 8% TFA Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for any given bottle size. Mixing these two into a larger bottle in that same ratio of 3 parts Strawberry to 4 parts Vanilla Bean Ice Cream you can prefill a bottle of any given size. So for a 30 ml bottle of premade base you'd know the bottle is a total of 7 parts, each part being ~4.29mls. So you'd need 12.86mls of TFA Strawberry, and 17.14mls of TFA Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. When you'd go to mix your recipe, you just need to use their combined total percentage (14%) from the recipe into your final mix. In that simple recipe premixing your base may not be an extreme time saver, but when you're layering a whole bunch of flavors together it can be a real time saver. Further having your flavors premixed will only serve to reduce your end result steeping time. You win twice! Explore the additives Sucralose, Ethyl Maltol, Acetyl Pyrazine, WS-23, Menthol crystals, MTS Vape Wizard, Citric Acid, Sour, etc. Some of the names are a bit cryptic, and oftentimes they're not immediately indicative of what they are, but if a juice just isn't sweet enough for your candy base, adding some sucralose or Ethyl Maltol will go a long way toward straightening out your mixture. If you're looking for a nutty flavor, the same applies for acetyl pyrazine (though be mindful that a little goes a very, very long way). Maybe you've got an ice cream recipe that just doesn't have quite the right mouth feel, maybe adding some WS-23 or Koolada to add that icy chill is the answer you're seeking.

So what's it all going to cost?

Well, up front: probably a bit more than you're used to. You can get a turn key kit for $48.95 to get yourself up and running in short order, right out of the gate that should allow you to make around 200-250 mls of juice, so a little better than break even vs "premium" e-liquid. Moving up to the $80 kit here nets you a lot more base, getting you to around 600mls of juice for the $80 puts you firmly into the "starting to save money" territory. As we said earlier, a 100ml bottle of Keep it 100 retails for $29.99, that puts 600 mls of juice around $179.94 so you'd be primed to save about $100 right out of the gate with the larger kit. So, upfront your cost is 80 dollars. That gets you all the syringes you'll need going forward, your graduated cylinder, a 100 ml beaker, and a small handful of bottles for test batches, carrying around daily, and for longer term storage, on top of all the liquid making supplies you'll need to get through your learning process and make plenty of juice once you've survived the learning curve. After that, your recurring costs break down into the 6 consumables.
  • VG - $3.99 for 125mls
  • PG - $3.99 for 125mls
  • Nicotine base - $9.00 for 60mls of 48mg/ml or $12.99 for 60mls of 100mg/ml
  • Flavorings - $5.25 per 30ml
  • Gloves - $2.99 for 5 pairs
  • Bottles - $4.00 for 5 120ml bottles or 5 30ml chubby gorilla bottles
So, assuming you vape at about 10% flavoring, 6mg nicotine, and 75/25 VG to PG, your cost of mixing each 120 ml bottle breaks down as $0.63 in flavor, $1.56 in nicotine (based on 100mg/ml price), $2.87 in VG, and $0.32 in PG plus $0.80 for the bottle. That totals out to $6.18 cents for 120 mls of your own juice. Including a pair of gloves ($0.60)  into the equation raises your cost for a bottle to $6.78 cents per bottle of juice. Assuming you vape 20 mls of e-liquid per day, that's 6 days for $1.13 each day, or $412.45 per year. Comparing that to the $2190 we found it to cost per year to vape exclusively "premium" liquids, the savings aren't imaginary at all. Yes, there is an upfront cost, but it's undeniable that a small amount of effort can not only get you cheaper juice, but some truly amazing tasting e-liquid. Try Making Your Own E-Liquid Here
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