Welcome to DIY!

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid - Guides, Tips & Tricks!' started by wildgypsy70, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Welcome to DIY! You’re here for different reasons.....flavor bans, money saving, curiosity, the need for creativity.....whatever the reason, welcome!

    This is not gonna be a step by step how to. It’s going to be tips collected from various threads by various mixers. We’ve screwed up in every way possible and have learned from said mistakes! If I miss something(and I know I have), pile on! I want everyone just starting out to learn from our mistakes and hopefully avoid them.

    So, here goes!

    1. Get a scale
    Trust me. Get a scale. It will make everything soooooo much easier. I know it seems cheaper to buy syringes and go by volume and people do it this way. But for me, once I switched to scales/weight, my mixing got infinitely easier. Clean up is almost non-existent.

    2. Buy 100mg nicotine
    Wear gloves if you feel like you need to. Yes, you can get nic sick if you spill it on yourself, but if you wash it off right away, you’ll be fine. The 100mg is just easier to measure with and most mixers use it. Buy some, transfer it to glass bottles with minimal air in the bottle.....date and freeze most of it and keep one bottle out for use.

    3. Buy the smallest bottle of flavoring
    Do not buy a huge bottle of anything until you know you like it! It’s tragic to have a 4oz bottle of something you hate.....

    4. The easy way to start
    There are two simple ways to start diy....one shots and mixing someone else’s recipes. One shots are an entire recipe in a bottle. You mix it at the stated percentage with pg/vg and nicotine. Shake it and go! Mixing someone else’s recipes is slightly more complicated, but gets you comfortable mixing. Look up a highly rated recipe on ELR or ATF(e-liquid recipes/all the flavors) and buy those flavors. Follow the recipe and you should be good to go. Bull City has flavor packs. Buy the pack and you get all the flavors that you need along with the recipe. Don’t go blindly buying flavors that you have no idea how to use. I know.....I did that.

    5. Open an ELR or ATF account
    This is super helpful. Having an account can help you keep track of your flavors so you don’t double order. ELR also has a feature that helps you find recipes you can mix with your stash! You customize how much pg/vg/nic you use when you start and it saves it for future use.

    6. Single flavor testing
    This is key, especially if you intend to develop your own recipes. It’s time consuming and a pita, but you need to know your flavors! Say you want to make a strawberry cheesecake with a syrupy top. What strawberry are you gonna use? What strawberry(or combo) will give you what you need? Unless you’ve done single flavor testing, you just don’t know. And people’s tastebuds are different. You may taste something completely differently than I do. If you do intend to start development, start SFT as soon as you can....it sucks to have 100 flavors that you have to test because you slacked off(like me.....sob!).

    7. Head on over to YouTube
    There are many channels that cater to DIY. Fresh03, DIYorDIE, DIY DownUnder, Mixing in the Kitchen, OHM Academy, Flavor Pro, Mixin Vixens are just a few that I watch religiously. Noted is a treasure trove for developers.....they pick a category and single flavor test as many as they can. There’s three mixers, so you get different takes on each flavor.

    8. Ask for help
    There are no stupid questions. We have a lot of great mixers here! We can walk you through or send you to the right place for any question you have. Don’t be shy!

    9. There is no wrong way to mix
    There is no wrong way to mix. Whether you use scales, syringes, drops or teaspoons, mix how you want to get the liquid that works for you. If you like 25% strawberry ripe and it’s keeping you off of cigarettes, then go for it! It’s all about what you need and like. That said, there is an industry standard of using percentages, which can be converted to drops/ml on the calculators I mentioned above.

    10. Take notes!
    This is especially important for developers. I use paper and pen, but use whatever you want. What do you taste? Is it candyish? Thick? Thin? Vegetal? Grainy? Smooth? Acidic? Harsh? Write down whatever you taste at what percentage. Flavors can change depending on what percentage you use them at. And at what temperature! Case in point.....chocolates and coffees do better at lower temps. They can taste burnt if you crank them up.

    11. Steeping
    Whatever you want to call it, steeping is crucial to some recipes. Fruits generally are shake and vape. Bakeries/creams/custards/tobaccos generally need 5-7 days. Some get better and better the longer you let them sit(Game Over Custard and Kreeds Kustard to name a couple). There are always outliers, but on the whole, it’s a good time frame to use. If you mix something and try it right away and it’s not quite right, let it sit for a few days before you start tweaking it. It might just need time to meld together.

    12. Start out small
    When you make a recipe or single flavor test, start small.....like 10-15ml small. The main reason for this is that you don’t want to make a ton of something you don’t like. It’s frustrating and a waste of money. 10-15 ml is enough to try a recipe/SFT over a period of time. Try it right out of the gate....then after 5 days.....10 days....etc. A lot of change can happen in that time.(thanks, @Letitia9

    13. Don’t give up!
    Please! I know it’s frustrating, especially when you’re a budding developer, to make a truly awful recipe. Believe me, we’ve all done it and continue to do it. Out of 10 recipes I make, half suck, a quarter can be saved and the other quarter are ok to good. Maybe one can be released to the public.....maybe. If you are having trouble, head over to the Daily Mixing Thread and post your recipe and ask for help. Someone will chime in!

    That’s it from me! Again, I’m 100% sure I’ve missed something or many somethings. Good luck, have fun and don’t give up!:blowkiss:See ya down the rabbit hole!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  2. Jinx'd

    Jinx'd Platinum Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    ^Nuff Said^
     
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  3. BobsHere

    BobsHere From Wherever VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 2 Years

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    Nailed it.
     
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  4. marter

    marter VU Donator Silver Contributor

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    Great post @wildgypsy70 , I'm just getting started with DIYing, and appreciate the resources that VU provides. What a great community.

    Can you describe your tasting/testing methodology? My primary vaping style is squonking but I do a lot of RDA dripping and RTAs, both mechanical and regulated mods. Obviously I don't want to coil and wick an RTA/RDA and fill the tank (or squonk bottle) with a new mix without knowing that it's good. So I assume a drip RDA is the most reusable method. Rewick every time? Do you use a regulated mod to be able to vary the temperature? Any other tips?

    Thanks again.
     
  5. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Hey! So I use an RDA that I trust to give me a base flavor. I usually use a Hadlay or Citadel. For me, those two give me the best base line flavor, hits all the highs and lows. But you use what’s good for you.

    I do use a regulated mod for that reason.

    Rewicking depends on the variety of what I’m testing. I’ll start with a fresh wick and test. If I’m doing something similar, I’ll Vape it dry and test something else. If you’re going from blueberries to menthol or cinnamon or coffee, you would probably rewick.

    I usually test at three different phases....low, average and high end. If you go to ELR and hit an individual flavor, you will get a slew of info on that flavor. Median use, lowest and highest use. Other people’s flavor notes and recipes using said flavor. I use that info to steer my testing.

    Hope that helps!!!
     
  6. marter

    marter VU Donator Silver Contributor

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    Thanks, makes perfect sense.
     
  7. Rhianne

    Rhianne Platinum Contributor ECF Refugee

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    Thanks, that is so helpful! I’m so glad that you posted this. As soon as I have some money, I’ll get a scale. :hug:
     
  8. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Been DIY over 4.5 years and NOW I have to get a scale?
     
  9. bikerboogieman

    bikerboogieman Silver Contributor

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    @wildgypsy70 - thanks for starting this very helpful thread. I will use it as a guide when I dive in soon.
    :cheers:
     
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  10. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Immediately!!!

    :giggle:How ya been, Crom? It’s been a while!
     
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  11. Rhianne

    Rhianne Platinum Contributor ECF Refugee

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    Cromwell, I’m glad you’re back. Nice to see you here.
     
  12. Wb80

    Wb80 -DIY-demon- VU Donator Gold Contributor

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    This is a great crash course first step of knowledge
     
  13. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Doing well got to go home to Beta Triangula 6 for a bit.
     
  14. nadalama

    nadalama Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    Hi guy! We've missed you bud! Super to see you posting again. :hug:
     
  15. DonBaldy

    DonBaldy Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Wow great post! I haven't looked and I too lazy to, but has this been stickied yet?
     
  16. inspects

    inspects Squonkamaniac Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 4 Years

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    Just did it.....:)
     
  17. Huckleberried

    Huckleberried Terrible wingman. Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 5 Years

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    Very well done, Sis!
     
  18. Letitia9

    Letitia9 Therion/Nano Junkie VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Great thread Gypsy!
    I would add make your sft 10-15ml so you have enough to taste test over a 12 week period. Especially when new to mixing, it's important to know what flavors fade and which ones make a comeback after a few days. If you normally use rtas or tanks test in those as well. Handy tip I was given was test in tank using tc, then you can vape the wick dry and move on to the next flavor.
     
  19. nadalama

    nadalama Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 1 Year

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    Perfect timing for this great post @wildgypsy70 ! Well done!
     
  20. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    Awesome! See, I knew I was missing something!

    I’m thinking about doing another thread like this one for recipe development?
     
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  21. Letitia9

    Letitia9 Therion/Nano Junkie VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team

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    I'd probably just add it here. Thinking most are like me starting out, mixing both sft and pairings as well as simple recipes. Maybe a "Tell us how you develop a recipe" for new diyers to lurk on. Maybe another thread about developing stones and how flavors can be subbed for additives as well as how and when to use additives?
     
  22. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    A great idea! A fantastic idea! Thank you for that. I’ll add your thing and start another thread.
     
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  23. DonBaldy

    DonBaldy Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    I know I already replied but I want the thank you again for this. Most of the stickies still contain some useful information but most are horribly out dated. As we all know 4 years in this vape world is a generation.

    As soon as I find the right place I'll post a suggestion that someone who has some time on their hands comb through all threads that are stickied and cull out many of them that are 4 and 5 years old and not really relevant anymore.
     
  24. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Good thing I am not stickied.
     
  25. Rhianne

    Rhianne Platinum Contributor ECF Refugee

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    But you were listed as MIA. It wasn’t quite the same here without you, Cromwell.
     
  26. DonBaldy

    DonBaldy Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    I have no way of proving this, not do I choose to. IF you are stickied, then that's your spouses problem.
     
  27. wildgypsy70

    wildgypsy70 My son calls me "vape mom" Staff Member Senior Moderator VU Donator Gold Contributor Member For 3 Years VU Challenge Team

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    :giggle::giggle::giggle:
     
  28. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Oh well in that case. I have been irrelevant for some time...
     
  29. Rhianne

    Rhianne Platinum Contributor ECF Refugee

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    You trouble maker!! Cromwell just came back.
     
  30. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    I am also often irreverent.
     
  31. Letitia9

    Letitia9 Therion/Nano Junkie VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team

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    That's the part we miss most.
     
  32. marter

    marter VU Donator Silver Contributor

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    Okay, you convinced me to start doing SFT. I mixed up 5 flavors tonight in 15ml. And the use of TC is brilliant; I hadn't thought of that. Any reason an RDA in TC wouldn't be as effective?
     
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  33. Letitia9

    Letitia9 Therion/Nano Junkie VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 2 Years VU Challenge Team

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    You can absolutely use an rda. I primarily use rtas so I might drip my first taste but need to know what % might taste better in a tank. If you use complex coils you can skip wicking for the first taste actually. I generally have an alien or staggered and just drip directly on the coil sans wick. Truthfully I seldom taste my sft for a week or two. I tend to mix ahead so more interested in the longer steep behavior.
     
  34. The Cromwell

    The Cromwell The Frugal Vapist VU Donator Diamond Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    DIY can be as simple or as complicated as one chooses, or anything in between, 1 flavor ingredient? 2 flavors or many flavors.
    Just depends on your desires and how much of a hobby you want it to be.
    All ways can be very satisfying.
     

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