5/19/14

Intro to DIY Ejuice Vaping on the Cheap for Ecigs Part 1

Intro to DIY Ejuice Vaping on the Cheap for Ecigs Part 1
For part 2 click here
For the non mobile version click here. 
Written by Josh Smith

As a regular on the E Juice Review G+ page and also the Google Hangout, one of the most common questions I receive is “How do you get started in DIY juice making?” Instead of providing a long winded reply within different posts, I decided to do an article series on DIY to welcome new comers into the fun that is DIY.

A little backstory on myself, I got into DIY because of my need to tinker and experiment (and my more “frugal” side). This would be the same reason that I got into mechanical mods and rebuildables. Even before I ordered my first supplies I did research, hours upon hours of research. Everything from best bottles to use to best brands for flavorings, I read so much information that my head about split. After that, supplies were ordered and the downward spiral began. I first began with tried and tested clone recipes and eventually moved into doing up some of my own.



DIY not only takes knowledge, it also takes determination. Some of my first solo attempts would be aptly named “Burning tire” or “Sweaty gym socks”. They were bad, but after enough changes to the recipe they actually became a decent juice. Note taking is your friend. What may be horrible within 24 hours of mixing, my become absolutely fantastic after a week or two locked in a dark cupboard somewhere. Even failed mixes aren’t complete failures, they are learning experiences and you will only become better.

To begin we will visit some of the more important information I can share, Safety. First and foremost, unless you are making 0mg juice, you will be working with nicotine. As vapers, we all know the dangers of nicotine. These concerns are amplified when venturing into DIY. Nicotine solutions can be obtained up to 100mg/ml and at that strength it will not take much to make yourself extremely sick or cause other medical issues. Proper safety should be taken including, but not limited to: disposable medical grade gloves, dedicated measuring equipment for nicotine, and safety glasses (yes, splatter can happen). Also proper storage of the nicotine solution should be considered. I keep mine lidded and inside of a
zip lock bag just for the added safety. I also have two dogs and a three year old daughter. So with that knowledge, the nicotine is stored in the back of a dark cupboard well out of the reach of paws and little hands.

When beginning DIY, it is widely suggested to not exceed 48mg/ml nicotine until you become comfortable with handling it. I fully support this suggestion; this allows a versatile mixing strength (3-24 mg/ml) without the extreme dangers of using higher concentrations. Carrier bases are a personal preference. I use 100% VG nicotine, but, I also like high VG juices (my daily mix is 70% vg). To begin in DIY, my suggestion is a 50/50 base. Again with versatility in mind, a 50/50 base will allow both higher PG and also higher VG juices to be made.

With safety of nicotine covered, we move onto another important topic, cleanliness. Keeping a clean and organized mixing area is quite difficult. You will spill and drop pg/vg, nicotine, and flavorings. It is bound to happen and some colorful language may ensue. This is where taking proper precautions will save you in the end. My personal mixing “station” includes a divided lunch tray, a bowl of uncooked rice/beans, and a small fishing tackle bag with divider containers. The divided lunch tray I use as a base to contain any spills that may occur; the divided areas also make a great area to keep the different ingredients separated in case of spills. The bowl of uncooked rice/beans serves two purposes in my station. First, I use it to hold my bottles while I put ingredients into them. This prevents knocking over a bottle of partially mixed juice. Second use is for heat steeping after the juice is mixed (more on this in another installment). The small fishing bag and divider containers are used to hold all the odds and ends involved. I keep most of my small bottles of flavor concentrates in one divider container, a second houses my syringes/pipettes and other measuring needs. I also keep my bulk bottles of concentrated flavors, empty juice bottles, and various other droppers and equipment in the main compartment. The outside pockets contain gloves and extra (various sized) zip lock bags and bottle labels.

Hopefully all of this information (and my mindless ramblings) have not scared you off. To recap, some of the most important things I can stress with DIY are safety and cleanliness. No one wants to see themselves/someone they love sick or injured from something that could have been prevented with a cheap pair of gloves, a dedicated syringe, or even a spill that you were going to clean up in the morning.

The next installment will cover actual mixing equipment and supplies. Thanks for reading and welcome to your journey into DIY!