What are concentrates?

When you buy a ready-to-vape vape liquid, you are buying flavourings pre-mixed with ‘E-liquid base’, which is a mixture of Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol, generally in a 70/30 ratio.

Concentrates are what we refer to these flavourings as. They are highly concentrated flavour essences with little to no base added; vape liquid manufacturers use these to create their liquids. Vaping these pure concentrates is not the intended usage of them, and they should always be diluted with a Vegetable Glycerine and Propylene Glycol mixture before being vaped. 

Concentrates generally come in small 10ml bottles and medium 30ml bottles, but there are certainly options to purchase them in higher quantities even up to 120ml in stores.

DIY Beginner’s Guide


Getting Started

If you are looking to use concentrates to make your own e-liquids, there are a few things you need to consider. Many people will start out by trying to use a single flavouring concentrate to make a bottle of juice, but if you are trying to emulate the quality of many premium liquids you would have vaped in the past, they normally use many concentrates, even where you wouldn’t expect them to. Some premium liquids have upwards of 8 different flavourings in them, even for a seemingly basic juice.

Looking up recipes is crucial to mixing your own juice if you want it to taste anything like a premium liquid. There are many websites on the internet where other DIY vapers post their own recipes or ‘clones’ of premium liquids - which are recipes intending to replicate an existing liquid as close as possible. 

While some concentrates can be stronger than others in terms of their flavour, you can use the general rule of around 10% total concentrate when mixing juices. There is information you can find online about specific flavourings, and how much of each to add, but this is also something that is worked out over time to suit your preference. Generally, you don’t want to exceed 20% of total flavouring for any purpose.

While DIY juice can be a cheap long-term alternative, you will likely have to make a decent initial investment to purchase a variety of different flavour concentrates to make specific mixes. For this reason, planning ahead with what you want to mix is a good way to start, rather than just buying things that sound good to you at the time.

Flavours

Desserts

Mixing dessert flavours is generally more challenging than basic fruit or candy flavours. Dessert flavours also have a much longer steep time, which means you need to let them sit for a few weeks on average for the flavour to fully incorporate into the VG/PG base. Starting with custard, cream or pastry concentrate is a great way to begin a dessert mix. A solid custard base leaves a lot of wiggle room to add in other notes such as vanilla, butterscotch, or even some fruits.

Fruity

Fruit flavours are much more simple to mix. You can’t really go wrong if you use your intuition to make judgements about what kinds of flavours work well together based on liquids you’ve vaped before. It is worth considering however that different concentrate brands will have different versions of ‘strawberry’ and ‘blueberry’, etc, so experimentation and research is key to obtaining the flavour notes that you are actually looking for, or are familiar with. Fruit flavours generally have a shorter steep time and some DIY vapers even choose to simply ‘shake and vape’ these kinds of flavours, which is effectively just vaping the mix without any steep time; though this works better with certain flavours.


Additives

Additives are concentrates that aren’t really meant to represent a specific flavour, but rather are made to go along with other flavours to help make a mix better. The most common of these are sweeteners and coolants. Almost EVERY premium liquid has some form of sweetener in it, which makes it an extremely important additive for anyone looking to emulate these kinds of flavour notes.

Sweeteners

There are two primary kinds of sweeteners - Sucrose, and Ethyl Maltol. Sucrose provides more of a stick-lip sweetness, whereas Ethyl Maltol will give you more of a subtle sweetness on the exhale. Both are good for different applications, but regardless it is vital to have a large supply of at least one of them if you are looking to start with DIY mixing.

Coolant

Coolant is another popular additive that adds a ‘cold’ effect to the juice without necessarily adding the flavour of mint or menthol. There are a wide variety of different “versions” of coolant, do if you try one and it’s not exactly what you were looking for, don’t get disheartened, maybe try another brand.


Both of these additives are generally added in very small quantities. It’s always better to start low and add more later, or you risk overdoing it and ruining an entire bottle of juice.

When attempting to DIY juice we also reccomend stocking up on other essentials like syringes, blunt tip needles and empty bottles. We reccomend getting some smaller size bottles (10ml and 30ml) for making small test batches and then some larger bottles (60ml and 100ml) to make larger batches in. As for syringes, having the full spectrum of sizes (1ml, 5ml, 10ml, and 30ml) is always a good idea as it makes it much easier to maintain accuracy when you have the right size measuring tools.


Summary

As you can see, DIY juice can be as simple, o ras complex as you want it to be depending on what the outcome is that you want. If you’re ever unsure of what to do nine times out of ten, speaking to someone in a vape shop is a good start. Not every person that vapes know all of the ins and outs of DIY juice, but they can either give you a start or help point you in the right direction.

-Adam

Super Vape Store Southport



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1 comment

Alpha

Alpha

What a great blog post, I found it to be very clear and detailed. Obviously the writer of such an articulate blog post must be a genius. Truly epic work! 10/10

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