The Beginner’s guide to E-liquid Mixing
Mixing your own e-liquid isn’t as difficult as it seems. Done correctly it can provide a whole new world of potential flavour combinations at a fraction of the price of pre mixed. This guide will inform you on how e-liquid is made, hopefully making it less daunting and easier to understand if you are just getting started.
Step by Step Guide to Creating an E-liquid Recipe
Step 1: PG & VG
The 2 main ingredients for any E-liquid are PG and VG, often known as ‘base liquids’ or ‘carrier liquids’. Your first choice is what ratio of these two components you’d prefer, as each one brings something different to the solution.
- Propylene Glycol (PG) is responsible for the throat hit. With more PG in an e-liquid you will get a harsher throat hit, a thinner consistency and more flavour.
- Vegetable glycerine (VG) in e-liquid produces the clouds of vapour and prevents the cotton in your coil from burning quickly when vaping; as long as it has had time to soak into the cotton.
Your device may also help you decide what combination you’ll need:
- 20% VG / 80% PG – 40% VG / 60% PG: Vapes ok in most low power devices, such as a CE4 or CE5.
- 50% VG / 50% PG – 60% VG / 40% PG: A 50/50 mix will start getting fairly thick. Vapes well in a mid range tank like Evods or a T3S.
- 70% VG / 30% PG – 80% VG / 20% PG: This is where most advanced users sit as this ratio has good flavour and vapour in the high power e-cigs/RDAs.
- 100% PG or 100% VG are generally not recommended for any device or e-liquid.
Step 2: Flavour
Flavouring is what really makes DIY liquids interesting, as it’s totally up to you what combination you’d like to add to your liquid. Flavouring is usually based in PG, and will replace some of the PG you currently have in your recipe. However, how much depends on how strong you want the flavour to be. Typically around 15 – 20% of an E-liquid is flavouring, but there is a lot of room to experiment here.
As for which flavours go together, well that’s really up to you. Combining two fruity flavours is often a good place to start, as this will usually result in a pleasant flavour that vapes well. Once you’re a bit more confident, try adding in a biscuit or vanilla flavour to make a more dessert style e-liquid. The possibilities really are endless and really comes down to the types of flavours you prefer.
Remember though, the more flavour you add the stronger it’s going to be, so decide early on what you are looking to taste as you’re vaping.
Step 3: Nicotine
Adding the Nicotine solution is often the most complex part of the process, but there are a number of ‘e-liquid calculators’ available online or as apps that can help you out.
Nicotine solution is available as PG, VG or even a mix of both, however for the purpose of this guide we’ll use the 100% VG Nicotine available from Vapable. The strength of the nicotine is represented in milligrams (mg) on the bottle, however the final strength in our recipe will be determined by how much of your new liquid is made up of Nicotine.
For example, if ½ of our recipe was made up of this 18mg Nicotine then the strength would be 9mg. So for a 3mg strength, ⅙ of the recipe should be Nicotine.
Once you have your recipe, use syringes to move VG, PG, Nicotine and flavourings from their container to the empty bottle. The needle tips that go onto the end of the syringe will help you soak up every drop of liquid. 10ml syringes are good for measuring base liquids and dropping them into your empty bottle while 1ml, 2ml, 5ml etc are better for the fractions of ml’s for flavours/nicotine.
If you were to leave your new e-liquid alone for a few days, you’ll often begin to see it darken in colour as it the ingredients react with each other and the air around them. This is part of the process of steeping and can lead to much more intense and stronger flavours.
Whether or not you steep your liquid and how long for is a personal preference. The general rule of thumb is that fruity flavours can be vaped almost immediately after a quick shake of the bottle, where as dessert flavours, such as cake or custard, should be left for anywhere between 3 – 6 weeks to properly bring out the best taste.