What is mixing?
Mixing in its simplest form is taking a base liquid and diluting it using another liquid an example of this is if you have a 10ml 36mg nicotine liquid and 10ml of 0 nicotine liquid and mix them together you have 20mls of 18mg liquid. Although there can be far more to it once you take into account the various different liquids and flavours you can add for different reasons which we will go over later.Why Mix?
People mix there own liquid for different reasons some of which I will list below
To save money
Fine tuning of flavour, throat hit and vapour
Ability to make multiple strengths from one base liquid
Add a new element which for most becomes a hobbyWhat do I need to mix my own?
The normal equipment and supplies used to mix your liquid is:
Base liquid Ė Usually a nicotine liquid there are varying strengths available to use as a base liquid as well as any of your flavoured liquids you already use.
Dilutant Ė Usually a liquid with no nicotine in it to reduce your base to the required strength sometimes this can be multiple liquids.
Flavour Ė A concentrated version of your required strength or a mix of flavours to produce a new flavour.
Receptacle for your mix Ė Normally this is a dropper bottle or syringe so once your mix is complete its easy to transfer it to what ever device you are using.
Transportation and measuring device Ė This is normally a dropper, syringe or pipette allowing you to take the liquid from its bottle and measure out the correct quantities to where you are mixing.PG,VG and AG what are all these base liquids a brief descriptionPG - Propylene Glycol
PG is probably the most common used ingredient in liquid most of the pre-made juices have around 70% to80% PG. It is good for adding throat hit to a mix but is not a great vapour producer so normally another diluant is added to the mix to increase vapour production. A small percentage of people can 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 vapour but has very little throat hit. It also adds a slight sweetness to a mix it normally makes up around 20% to 30% of the premixed liquids. Although most people refer to VG normally they are referring to AG (see below) VG is a very thick liquid and needs to be thinned for most uses in vaping unless used in small amounts but most of TWís base liquids and dilutants are AG. Nicotine Strength
Nicotine strength can be quite confusing at first but is quite simple once you get the basic understanding of it. Firstly the strength description 36mg isnít the amount that is in the bottle but the concentration per ml. So it makes it easy to reduce the strength if say you mixed your 36mg 50/50 with a nicotine free liquid you would get 18mg liquid regardless of quantity as long as you stick to the ratio 50/50. Now another question I see is why does platinum ice come in 54mg bottles two reasons first its impossible to make 36mg liquid using any flavouring as this would dilute the final mixture. Secondly itís easily dividable by three so if youíre looking for 36mg liquid its 2 parts platinum ice to 1 part dilutent it was never meant to be vaped at full strength.Dilutants PG - Propylene Glycol
PG is normally added to give good throat hit but isnít a great vapour producer. VG - Vegetable Glycerine
VG is normally used to add vapor but has very little throat hit and a slight sweet taste it also needs thinning if used at more than about 10-20% of the mixture in most vaping devices. AG - Aqueous Glycerine
AG is thinned VG using deionized or distilled water at around 85% VG to 15% water. Distilled or Deionized Water
Normally added to VG to thin the mix a little. Flavouring
The clue is in the name its there to add flavour the average is around 15% flavour to a mix but some can be very strong like menthol and the joy of mixing is you can adjust to what suits you. Most of the flavours are predominantly PG based. You can also use more than one so you can make your own custom flavours another joy of mixing. Flavours
This is the fun bit of mixing the various different flavour concentrates allow you to recreate your favorite flavour from some of the premixed flavours or make your own by mixing various combinations of the huge selection of concentrates available, You can also use any of the premixed flavours that are available add to them. One thing to remember with flavours especially if your new to vaping is that what doesn't taste tasty today may taste different later on so donít bin it if you donít like it. I have learned first hand my very first mixing kit had a flavour that I hated about a month after I started I tried it again and I loved it now its one of my regular vapes im actually vaping it right this minute. If you do end up with a flavour you donít like thereís a very good trades board on the forum you can use but you need to have made at least 30 posts on the forum before its visible.Mixing Calculator
A mixing calculator is a program for automatically telling you how many drops or quantity of each part of your mix to give you your required strength or flavour concentration. It takes the entire complicated math out of the equation and just makes life easier. They are available in different formats and for different platforms but they all hold to the basic principles. You would normally put in your base liquid strength and required final strength you then enter your required flavour % and any extra dilutants % and the amount to create then it gives you the amount of each liquid to create your mix. I will make an example of what you would put into one and get back below:I enter into the calculator
Nicotine Base 54mg
Target Nicotine Level 11mg
Flavourings Percent 20%
Amount to Create 5mlThe info it gives me back
PG/VG or AG with Nicotine 1.0ml-20 drops-20%
PG/VG or AG 0 Nicotine 3.0ml-60 drops-60%
Flavourings 1.0ml-20 drops-20%Downloadable Ejuice Calculator (for Windows PC)
A more comprehensive one: HereWhat would be best to buy to start mixing?
If youíre not sure what to get to start mixing a good place to start is with one of the small PI mixing kits below.UK Sitehttp://www.totallywicked-eliquid.co.uk/products/mixing-accessories-products.htmlUS Sitehttp://www.totallywicked-eliquid.com/products/eliquid-mixing-accessories-products.html
They give you everything you need to start mixing now to choose what type of base liquid and dilutant is the million dollar question. To begin with itís probably a good idea until you know what suits you to stick reasonably close to what is in the ready made liquids unless you know that you have problems with PG I would get.
Platinum Ice in PG
Dilutant in AG
Flavours what ever takes your fancy
I would also then buy an extra bottle of PG which can be found here.UK Sitehttp://www.totallywicked-eliquid.co.uk/products/mixing-accessories/propelyene-glycol-pharmacopoeia-grade-product.htmlUS Sitehttp://www.totallywicked-eliquid.com/products/eliquid-mixing-accessories/propelyene-glycol-pharmacopoeia-grade-2-product.html
This gives you the ability to make a PG 80% AG 20% mix which in general is close to the premixed liquids but you can also play with not only your flavour levels but also the PG/VG% and will be able to get a better idea of what suits you. This is just a general idea of a good way to get into the joys of mixing. Iím not saying you have to buy this or that but giving you a basic setup that will get you going you could buy all the ingredients separate or even buy a premixed 36mg liquid a flavour and dilutant and a few mixing bottles and start that way. If you do have problems with PG then you have to decide to either get all AG and add some throat hit by either using vodka or go down the PEG route.Your First Mix
I will go through the steps of making a 5ml mix using the equipment below
Platinum Ice 54mg in PG
Empty 5ml Dropper Bottle x 3
1. I get everything out of the boxes and set it all up where I want it and where it wonít get knocked over.
2. Get one of the small 5ml dropper bottles take the lid off and pop the dropper piece off get my PG dilutant and the pipette that came in the PI kit. Using the pipette I transfer the PG dilutant to the dropper bottle and pop the lids back on them. Mark the bottle so you know it has PG in it if you get your PG and AG mixed up you wonít be able to tell the difference.
3. Repeat the above step for your AG dilutant donít forget to mark the bottle.
4. Now take the last 5ml dropper bottle and pop the lid off this is what you will use for your final mix so have it close as everything is going into it.
5. Now I get my juice calculator with my recipe I decided on earlier it says to make an 11mg juice I need 20 drops PI, 40 drops PG dilutant, 20 drops AG dilutant and 20 drops of flavour
6. I always do my drops in this order dilutants, flavour and finally base why? Because if you mess up along the way your only wasting inexpensive dilutants not that precious nicotine base. So I get my PG dilutant from the bottle I put it in earlier and add 40 drops to my mix bottle.
7. Then 20 drops AG and then I have 20 drops of flavour but if you noticed my list I have 2 flavours because I want to make a nice cherry cola and I've decided I want to try 50/50 flavour hey if itís not right I can adjust the next time I make it. So I put 10 drops of cherry in then I get my cola and add 10 drops to my mix.
8. Finally I add my 20 drops of PI pop the dropper and lid back on and give it a shake. Now all you have left is to put your mix in your favourite device and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
A good video to watch which goes over what I did above apart from multiple dilutants and multiple flavours is the one on TWs site demonstrating how to use the new PI and TI mixing kits. The link for it is below.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g8y_JH0iNt0Further Info and TipsDropper Measurements
Although most people go by the average of 20 drops per 1ml this isnít 100% accurate and I didnít go over this above as I didnít want to confuse what seems very daunting until you do it.
Most glass droppers will give you 20 drops per 1ml
Most plastic droppers will give around 30 drops per 1ml
Most large plastic pipettes will give around 26 drops per 1ml
I personally use only glass dropper bottles even for my flavours as I seem to like a lot of the caffeine flavours and they can clog the nozzle of the dropper bottles. Buying Diluent Locally
I see a lot of people ask if you can get mixing ingredients locally VG is the most readily available ingredient as you can find it in most pharmacies and supermarkets but it is VG so it will need diluting. What you are looking for is Glycerine if itís from a pharmacy you want to make sure its 100% Glycerine and from a supermarket itís found in the cake supplies isle along with the small bottles of flavours and colourings again make sure its 100%. It is possible to also get PG Iíve only found it from a pharmacy and it had to be ordered in again make sure its 100%. Now if you have gone looking in your supermarket for glycerine you probably noticed all them flavours near the glycerine the answer is yes you can use them but be very very careful if you do sugars, oils and colourings will kill your atty and most of them flavours have both in on top of that they are far weaker than e-liquid flavours it just isnít worth the expense. If you do want to make your own flavour the easiest and safest option is to make a menthol flavour this can be done by purchasing pure menthol crystals from the pharmacy be careful with them they are a nasty skin irritant and are very strong in there pure form. To make a 10ml concentrate flavour from them put 5g of menthol crystals with 5ml of PG and only PG they will NOT dissolve in VG or AG. Once you have mixed them together seal the bottle and warm the bottle to dissolve the crystals. Micro Mixes
Micro mixes is where you make a very small batch up of a certain flavour to test the flavour percentages or mix quantities thereís nothing worse than making a large amount of a new flavour and realizing you donít like it. You donít even have to add nicotine if your just testing a flavour out. I now make my test mixes straight into my tanks but you can also make them in carts or even into a spare dropper bottle normally itís around 0.5ml to 2ml mixes.
If your micro mix is for a tank
1ml mix - 20 drops Ė each drop is 5%
If itís for a 901 or 510 cart
0.5ml mix Ė 10 drops Ė each drop is 10%
If itís a 2ml mix for a bottle or mega cart
2ml mix Ė 40 drops Ė each drop is 2.5%
Itís a very good practice to get into and will save you a lot of wasted liquid itís also a great way to play with your PG/VG percentages to find what you like. It works best with the tanks as even if its not 100% what you want you can still vape the lot where as in cart you have no extra to top the cart up but your talking about such small quantities a tiny waste is better than 10mls you hate. Hereís an example of a micro mix in a tank using PI as well I fancy trying a 60%PG/40%VG mix at 11mg with State Express flavour.
PI in PG 4 drops 20%
0nic PG 4 drops 20%
0nic VG 8 drops 40%
Flavour 4 drops 20%
You can of course use one of the calculators above to work this out for you if youíre just stuck with a certain percentage of nicotine if youíre putting it in.Mark Your Mixes
Itís a really good idea to mark them mixes you keep making although you might only have a few flavours to start off with they soon build up. It doesnít have to be anything fancy just a sticky white label or even a marker pen. Thereís nothing worse than having 10 blank bottles and having to smell everyone to find the liquid you want and itís always the last one.Stealth Mix
Although most of the time everyone loves them great clouds of vapour sometimes you might want to not be so obvious about it. This is commonly referred to as stealth vaping a great way to do this is to make a mix that is all PG it will have a strong throat hit but will produce very little vapour if you hold the vapour that is produced in just a bit longer than normal you will exhale virtually no vapour at all.
This has been fun getting all this info together and I hope some of you find it helpful. Mixing seems very daunting to people especially trying to read all the info that is available but its so rewarding once you get the hang of it.
I would like to thank TonyF, Nick OTeen and Astrecks for looking over what I have come up with and adding suggestions of what I could add and also Caz who has put up with all my questions (there was a lot) and being very helpful.