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Guide to Mixing

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Lettie22:
Guide to Mixing
by Lettie22photos by CyborgMixing Calculator by Knoton

Before you attempt mixing for the first time it's best to understand the uses of PG, VG and AG.   

PG - Propylene Glycol
Most pre-made juices are made up of about 80% PG. It is good for adding throat hit to a mix but is not a great vapor producer.  Some people find they have a reaction to PG and have to find alternative liquids for mixing their juice.

VG - Vegetable Glycerine
VG is normally used to add vapor but has very little throat hit. It also adds a slight sweetness to a mix and it makes up around 20% of the premixed liquids.  VG is a very thick liquid and sometimes needs to be thinned for most uses in vaping unless used in small amounts.

AG - Aqueous Glycerine
AG is basically VG that has already been thinned so it isn’t so thick;  normally using distilled or deionized water at around 15%.


What You Need

As a beginning mixer, I suggest you get the following items:

120ml of 60mg nicotine (PG based).   Some people like to get a higher concentration of nicotine, but the higher the concentration, the more careful you have to be when using it.

250ml of PG

120ml of VG

Five 3ml pipettes

One 10ml syringe that looks something like this:   



(Some people like using a graduated cylinder for their mixing; however, I prefer the syringes and pipettes)

One 30ml glass bottle

Five 10ml plastic bottles

Two 20ml plastic bottles

Your choice of some flavors

With these amounts of liquids, you will be able to make over 500ml of 14mg nicotine liquids mixing with 80% PG and 20% VG; along with 15% flavoring.   


Mixing Calculator

A mixing calculator is a program for automatically telling you the quantity of each part of your mix, to give you your desired nicotine strength, your desired PG and VG strengths and flavor concentration.  It takes the entire complicated math out of the equation and just makes life easier.

One of the best calculators to use is Knoton's Mixing Calculator which can be located here - Knoton's Mixing Calculator

The chart below shows the numbers that I put into the calculator to make 10ml of liquid at 14mg strength using a 60mg nicotine base with 15% flavor.  I did not put anything into the box for "2nd dilutant", however, if you wanted to make this a 70PG/30VG mix (which I would suggest for a beginner mixer), you would put "30" into that box.  The term "dilutant" in this chart refers to either PG, VG, or AG (whichever you are using).   

The Green is the amounts you enter into the calculator.
The Red are the results for the amount of ingredients you require to mix together.




If you wish to make a smaller 5ml mix all you have to do is adjust the 3rd box down on the left.  If the flavor of the mix does not taste strong enough you can then alter the flavor percentage box to suit you; most standard premix eliquids are 15% flavor.  Once you find the perfect mix you can make larger quantities.   Alternatively to sample flavors without using the calculator, you can follow the instructions for making Micro Mixes in the section below. 

You might also need to change the “number of drops” on the chart (6th box down on the left)  from "20" to whichever size dropper bottle your currently using.  Approximate drops per ml below.

Most glass droppers will give you 20 drops per 1ml
Most plastic droppers will give around 30 drops per 1ml but the droppers with a tiny nozzle to them will give up to 50 drops per ml
Most large plastic pipettes will give around 26 drops per 1ml

So if you do decide to measure by drops, remember to adjust the number of drops per ml accordingly to whichever dropper bottle/pipette your using.


Your First Mix

Get all of your ingredients out, along with your measuring device (I use the pipettes and syringes), and your GLASS bottle.   

Using your pipette/syringe, you then measure out the ingredients from the calculator into the GLASS bottle.  I usually start at the top with the nicotine and then go down to the  last ingredient of flavor.   

Once you’ve put all ingredients into the GLASS bottle shake up the bottle.


Steeping  (Optional)

Steeping is a method that some mixers use but is entirely optional,  Steeping means leaving your mixes for a few days,  sometimes longer for the flavor to mature.  This is supposed to improve the flavor. 

You can use an “instant” steeping method by placing the GLASS bottle into the microwave.   For a 10ml mix, usually 8 seconds on a microwave will get the mix plenty hot.  Then you want to give this some more shaking. 

Once your mix has cooled place it into an empty plastic bottle that has a nozzle/dropper to it.     

You do NOT want to use the microwave on a plastic bottle because you will get a plastic taste in your mix.   

If you do not plan on using the "instant" steeping method, you can make your mixes using a plastic bottle.

If you prefer to use the natural way to steep, you will just need to leave the mix to mature on its own for a few days or longer.


Mark Your Mixes

It’s a really good idea to mark the mixes you make; although you might only have a few flavors to start off with, they will soon build up. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy just a sticky white label or even a marker pen. There’s nothing worse than having 10 blank bottles and having to smell every one to find the liquid you want and it’s always the last one.


Hints for Making Micro-Mixes

Here are some instructions for making small mixes to try out your new flavors.   Others may have a better way, but this is my way of doing it without wasting too much liquid.
 
I will make up about 10ml of a "Base" where I put all the ingredients EXCEPT the flavoring (I put in the nicotine, the PG and the VG only).   Once the base is made up, I do also microwave it.   I then put in about 12 drops of the base into a 1ml cartridge (back from ego-c days) and then drop in about 3 drops of flavoring (which is equal to 15% of the mixture).  Put the cap on and shake it up.   So, in essence, I've made a trial mix of .5ml of a flavor.   I then take the cartridge, put it on my ego-c and vape it to see if it is something I think I would like.    Of course, you are not getting the steeping done yet and that can make a difference.   A lot of folks make up like 3 or 5ml mini-mixes, let it steep (or microwave it) and then try it.   It's just really hard to microwave .5ml!   
 
If you want to play around with a mixture of different flavors, put 1 drop of one and 2 drops of another flavor!

caz:
Great guide lettie,  thank you for taking the time to do this for the den and thank you Cyborg for providing the descriptive photos of how the calculator works to accompany the guide  ;D

Knoton:
Great Guide, Very how do you say.. hm.. concise. short and to the point.
Very easy to follow  :)
I would like to add that some think, I am one, that PG is a better carrier for flavours.
Cant really explain why and how but that is my experience.


One little note on my calculator:
I tend to think that the first dilutant is PG because I always use nicbase made of PG and the flavour is almost always PG.
The second dilutant field is VG/AG
This way makes the calculations easy...

In the future I might change the calculator so you can tell what kind your nicbase is PG/VG/AG/Mixed as well as flavour.
I know that some people gets confused not having the option to say what their final result should be.
I tend to think as a programmer and forget that not all people think like me... sorry  ::) :)
Its just that for me it would make the design more complicated to work with...

danwldr:

--- Quote from: Knoton on November 11, 2012, 10:14:33 AM ---
Its just that for me it would make the design more complicated to work with...

--- End quote ---

Knoton:
hahaha reminds me about a story a friend told me some years agoo.
he was completly stupid when it comes to computers and his son was trying to help him.
The son told him to open the program you press the icon on the desktop.
And my friend look down on his desktop (the table) trying to find that icon his son was talking about...
His son left saying he will never ever try to help his father with a computer again  :D

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