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Mixology 101  Mixing Guide
#1
Mixing your own e-liquid flavours can be a fun, cost-effective and rewarding experience and isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think. With some unflavored nicotine, your favourite flavours and a few simple tools, you can be on your way to becoming a “mix-master” in no time.

The General Idea

All of the juices that are used in an electronic cigarette consist of at least three main ingredients. Like any recipe, these three ingredients can be adjusted to suit your tastes.

• nicotine

• propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG)

• flavouring

Nicotine is the obvious ingredient, and you will want to make sure you mix your juice to the nicotine level that’s right for you. The level of nicotine is expressed in milligrams per milliliter or mg for short. Most vapers will stick to a level of nicotine somewhere between 3mg and 24mg. Unflavored nicotine for mixing usually comes in a higher strength so that it can be diluted to suit individual tastes. Undiluted nicotine can be extremely poisonous and is absorbed through the skin, so great care should be taken when using it. Wear protective clothing and gloves and obviously keep it out of the reach of children and pets.



Propylene Glycol (PG) or Vegetable Glycerin (VG) are used to dilute the concentrated nicotine liquid to the desired strength. PG makes the vapour and is partly responsible for the cigarette-like “hit” that e-cigarette vapour gives the user. Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is smoother and gives less of a throat hit, but creates more vapour. It is often too thick to be used by itself, however. Many vapers prefer a mix of 80% PG to 20% VG while others prefer a 50/50 mix.Most flavourings are PG based and a high VG liquid can be made without the need to add more PG. It’s all a matter of taste.

Flavouring is where a lot of trial and error comes in. While the other ingredients are mixed to exact measurements, the amount of flavour that a mixture needs varies widely depending on the strength of the flavour, the type of equipment being used and of course, personal taste. In general, starting with about 5% flavour and working your way up is a good idea. Even at 5%, though, some flavours will be overpowering and will be best when mixed with other lighter flavours. Flavourings are added by-the-drop to avoid contaminating measuring equipment. Generally, 20-30 drops are in an ml, However, the use of a measuring device ie a syringe is recommended as different bottles will provide a different sized drop and could lead to inconsistent mix when replicated.

The Ingredients and Tools

There really is very little required to get started in mixing your own juice. Here are the basics that you will need:

Nicotine

Propylene Glycol (PG)

Vegetable Glycerin

Flavouring

Measuring cup or graduated cylinder

Small funnel

Pipette or eye dropper

Empty bottles

Latex gloves

Index cards

An e-liquid calculator


E-Liquid Calculators

Mixing is where things get a little complicated. Combining the right amount of just three or four ingredients doesn’t sound too difficult, but figuring out just how much of the concentrated nicotine will be needed can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a number of great people who have taken the guesswork (not to mention the math!) out of it for us. A simple e-liquid calculator is available online and a more elaborate Excel version can be downloaded.

Before we go any further, here are some examples to try out:

Scubabatdan’s excel e-liquid calculator.

eJuice Me Up – a free downloadable program

E-Liquid Recipe Mixing Calculator – an online calculator with flavouring options and costs

eliquidcalculator.com – an online calculator with a number of options

ejuice – and one for your iPhone

Mixing

The calculators will help you to determine just how much of each ingredient is needed to deliver the expected result at the right nicotine level. Let’s start with an example using unflavored concentrated nicotine in PG at 36mg and have as our goal an 18mg solution with an 80/20 PG/VG mixture and 10% flavour. We’ll make 10ml.

A calculator will show that we need the following amounts of ingredients:

• 5ml 36mg Unflavored nicotine

• 2ml PG

• 2ml VG

• 1ml Flavoring (20-30 drops)

Notice that half of the mixture is 36mg nicotine. That’s because we want to reduce the concentration by half to equal an 18mg strength. We wanted 20% VG in the mixture, so 2ml out of the 10ml will be VG. 1ml of one or more flavours will be added to equal 10% and 2ml of PG will make up the rest of our 10ml.

Now is a great time to write down exactly what you have decided to mix. I like to use numbered index cards for each recipe and label the bottle with the corresponding number. The important thing is to know what is in each bottle so that you can repeat the mix exactly. Nothing is worse than discovering that you really like a flavour made a week ago and having no idea of what you put in it.

Use pipettes, a graduated cylinder or measuring cup to measure out the ingredients as exactly as possible so that your nicotine strength stays consistent. The use of latex gloves is recommended when handling any nicotine solution, especially at higher concentration. Flavourings will often be added by the drop rather than measuring because it takes so little of each flavour.

Now it’s time to vigorously shake the bottle and enjoy vaping your new creation! Some flavours will take a little time to fully mix and develop, so don't toss a flavor right away. Try going back to it after a week or so to see if it is any more enjoyable. This is where that note card becomes especially important!
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