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Endless Tweaking: The Infinite Nudge


#1

Hi, everybody!

This thread is about fine-tuning recipes. When does it end for you? Some mixers tweak and tweak, nudging the percentages, swapping brands of similar flavors, adding or omitting flavors, and it can take a year or more before they say it’s finally done. Some hit the sweet spot in one or two attempts and are satisfied. Some are a mix of both.

I’ve had trouble mixing music in this way… Does that guitar part really shine there, or does it need to be panned a little more to the left and 1% more reverb? It can go on forever if you don’t stop yourself!

Let’s say on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the shortest tweak time, 10 the longest, where do you rate yourself? I’m a 2-4. It may vary from one recipe to the next, so a range is fine.

I bring this up because I feel like I’m, pehaps, missing something that with more scrutiny might take my recipes to a higher standard. Subjective as it is, I know the answer is “Your done whenever you like the recipe and that’s about it.” But, could that recipe I think is great and finished go from great to amazing if I nudged that banana from 1.25% to 1.32%, waited a month for the result and then maybe tried it at 1.45% then waited another month, and so on?

I’m only asking for general thoughts on the subject. You don’t have to use my silly 1-10 scale if you wish to respond!

Thanks, everyone! Happy New Year!


#2

im not sure how to rate myself , but more often than not i have a V4 or 5 b4 being ok with it right now i have a few v2 that i need to rework , very rarely ami happy the first or second time around , i always have to remind myself theres only so much i can do to achieve a certain taste


#3

I’ll say that I am a 12 on a scale of 1-10. I have two years of recipies that are on that boarder. However, it’s all about time.

-I steep for 4-6 weeks for almost everything. Custards 6-10weeks (I try lol)
-I don’t batch mix for the most part because I can batch flavor test. I get board easily. So I know I am done when I say wow, yes, and I want more.
-I don’t have time to mix daily. I mix every two weeks and some times stretch to three. So when I mix it’s an event…coffee, npr, and a good chunk of my morning creating and dreaming. I find it more fun that way.
-I’m picky. Everything has to be clean. Bottle clean it is the worse. I use 10-12 bottle a week. That’s on average a cleanup of 24-30 bottles every two weeks and I do it all by hand.

I will say there are recipies that I have found that with two tweaks were spot on and only needed two remixes. Sadly. Those go into the testing stage where I mix and see if I get the same reaction 3 times with me saying yes…mix more.

Just some food for thought and I am sure grammar and auto correct errors. Gits to lir the ipone otter cirreect


#4

I always think a recipe can get better for some reason. My Strawberry Cheesecake ADV that I started with goes through trials of tweaking constantly. Even though I already love it and it is the top one my friends request. I would definitely be a 10. I have an Apple Pie on V6 and a Caramel Butter Pecan on like V8 (I can’t remember exactly) when mixing last night.


#5

I feel the same way. I have ones that I really enjoy that don’t need any tweaking at all but I always feel that it can be better. So I try to change it and that revision is also good. Then it comes time to compare which is better. But I soon realize that they’re all good. It’s that mentality that things can be better that makes me want to tweak recipes even though they don’t get any better, just different but in a good way.


#6

In my experience, i enjoy fruits more so the recipe adjustment takes up less time. It took a while to get a good feel on what fruit mixes with another fruit.
As far as bakery recipes go: i try my best but those recipes typically take more time to get "right"
Honestly, steep time, flavor combinations and personal preference are major factors.
On this site, i have learned not to throw away or dismiss a mix until it has had 30 days to steep.
Don’t give up!!! Good luck!!!


#7

Capella flavours… 15% - 16% total flavour works well imo

EDIT: @Sprkslfly @Plunderdrum Oops, let me clarify the above…

When using just Capella flavours, the total of all the flavours used works well around 15-16% :+1:


#8

As we know, all of us are different and use different methods to achieve a successful mix. For me, I find using more accurate flavors usually results in more accurate mixes and a lot less V2s and more. I find a immediate FT gives a general idea if the mix is even in the ballpark of what I’m shooting for. I sometimes tweak right after a FT if I feel I’m missing some critical flavor notes.

I’m pretty satisfied with my flavor stash, so most flavors and flavor combos are pretty much repeated in new mixes. Knowing what to expect from your flavors really go a long way to mixing successfully without a lot tweaking.

As with most things DIY, it’s not full proof, but it tends to work more often than not for me.


#9

Im a 0.5 out of 10. I generally am always trying to make the next recipe. Not trying to make the perfect recipe, more variety and trying new things for me. I sometimes go back to old recipes at a later date,more trying different and/or concentrates in the mix rather than tweaking percentages.
Nit an ADV type, get bored of stuff easily so find no need to try to make the perfect recipe. Few occasions I have tweaked stuff, it turns me insane, too frsutrating…though thats probably due to a lack of expertise in mixing and anyway like the post above, certain little tried and tested combinations get repeated often anyway


#10

The thing that blows my mind is how good simple recipes can be …or wait I mean how recipes that seem so perfect are often so simple. Mastery is the positive side of compulsion. No Musician ever reached what others may see as Talent without years of practice and the right gear. It’s easy to see there is a wide spectrum that applies to both Music and our DIY …and really to everything.

Some people are satisfied plinking on their Sears acoustic every once in awhile, and others are for whatever reason driven by the knowledge that a better crafted instrument and many hours of practice elevates the result. This hyperfocus might be what separates us from animals …and that guy that is satisfied with some casual strumming on a rare occasion always has his own obsession in other areas.

…and I have a couple three v5+s


#11

Bravo sir. Excellent correlation, and completely agree with the assessment!

The down side of the ultra creative personality though has to be the continual refinement, while at the same time, it’s the process, and exploration itself that brings enjoyment. Dual edged sword if ever there was one.


#12

I’m not sure where I would put myself on such a scale :man_shrugging:

I have some (a few) recipes that I just nailed … or to be more truthful … got a satisfying result on the very first test, and others that needed 10 iterations before they were ready for the first production run. But once I get a satisfying result I don’t have any problems stopping, though it can be tempting to keep tweaking it further in search of perfection.

I have however recently also started going back to my finished recipes and making V2 or V3’s of them, either because:

  1. I no longer think they are as good as I originally thought, but believe I can save them with a bit of tweaking.

  2. I have a new flavour that might work very well in that recipe.

  3. I have run out of one or more of the flavours, and decided to try a different one instead of reordering the same.


#13

@Plunderdrum I’ve been obsessing over a “S’mores” recipe for almost a year now. I have a VERY specific profile that I am looking for, and despite SOUNDING easy, it has proved to NOT be the case. With over 85 iterations, pissing the wife off (she doesn’t even LIKE choco vapes, and is my daily tester), I think it’s DONE, when EVERY attempt to add or change something, shifts the profile AWAY from what you want. Then it’s done.


#14

I’ve been mixing for almost a year now and not sure if id be able to scale myself but maybe a 1-3. I wouldn’t call myself an experienced mixer but my recipes and flavor profile has changed substantially and I’ve gotten so much better at mixing! My recipes never came together until I started to get to know the flavors Im working with. It takes time and I’d say experience to get that down and even then there’s always new flavors coming out.

I dont have a specific recipe that has been my work in progress for more than a cpl months. If it doesn’t work out after that amt of time then I start a new mix. On to a new recipe. I have a few that are so awesome that I vape them until I’m tired of that flavor and then I’m on to the next favorite.

Sometimes ill vape it for a few months or a day or a week. I never know.
I mix when I feel inspired! My best creations seem to develop when I mix when I in a great mood! I’m also very picky about being clean. I need my set up the same every time and my bottles spotless. I make sure and wipe drips asap. I have it down to a science of where I set my Nic and bottles to be mixed and ect.

Before I mix I write it out first. I’ll have a flavor in mind and then I start adding what comes to mind. When I’m done picking. I go and read all the notes about the flavors and decide percentages. I normally mix one to 5 new recipes at a time. I have specific notebooks for all of my recipes and am very picky about my mixing stuff.

Thats my madness in a nutshell.


#15

Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid other people’s recipes, because I never have all the ingredients, and subbing ultimately changes that recipe’s intended flavor, and I really don’t know if a sub will be sufficient. In the past I’d sub a lot but never scored a lot of success that way. Then I’d tweak, and tweak, never knowing what the actual profile would have been anyway. That’s frustrating. How could I know what I was trying to mix or even if I’d really like it if I never actually tasted the published recipe to begin with?

So, I’ve been using the ELR template like you Jazzy. I put in some ingredients and percentages, and give it a good look, tweaking it on paper before I mix. Works better for me this way, for now anyway. Of course further mix-tweaking is also needed, but I TRY to get close in my mind before I just mix like a rabid hound, like in the past. The Island of Misfit Juices is running out of room, after all…


#16

As I wrote that I thought of my wife… because I make a few she really loves, but I’m lukewarm about. She loves them as-is, but I feel they need work. I realized that’s because she doesn’t mix; she simply vapes. So she doesn’t know percentages, vendor differences, etc. If she likes it, she likes it. Maybe part of why we obsess and tweak is because we’re our harshest critics. Maybe some recipes are actually “perfect” but we can’t accept that.


#17

I always give my old testers to my friends. It will be ones that are ok to me but need work. Then a few days later one of them will call saying that they loved whichever one I gave them and want a bigger bottle. Thanks to @daath adding the folder option to the calculator. I just save that recipe in a folder with their name on it. Bad thing is I always wonder how good the recipe is because I thought it was meh, and my friends absolutely loves it and can’t get enough. I guess that is another fun part of DIYing. The ability to Taylor flavors to fit your, or others, certain preferences. Oh course I do have that one friend who will vape anything I give him, anything. The one unexpected benefit is that he also will mix anything together. 9 out of 10 if is awful. Every once in while it will be interesting and give me an idea. I call him when it is time to clean out the cabinets.


#18

Lots of great insight, y’all. Thanks! I’ve only been at this since June, so i have no idea what it’s like to work on a recipe for a year.
My only V5 is due to fixing way too high percentages from before I learned a few things. That V5 taught me a lot!
One reason I started this topic is that as I’m getting more experienced, my mixes have been coming out very good (to my taste) recently with one attempt and maybe one adjustment. It’s made me start to think that my palate must not be very refined, because I see other ppl talking about working for months on a recipe and still not sure if they should release it to the public.
I was beginning to think I am just too easily impressed and don’t know what a true, fully developed recipe is. But, you guys have put that to rest for me! If I like it, I like it. Tweaking it more could help it, or might just be a little different but just as good. I’m sure this will change as I gain experience.

Great discussion! I look forward to seeing more ideas and philosophies. Thanks, everyone!


#19

It makes me wonder also…

Does anyone have a recipe they’ve made- whatever it is- that they feel is perfect and will receive no further tweaks? Can anyone actually leave one alone as ‘perfect’?


#20

It is so much harder to mix other peoples recipes than it was just a year ago even as so many new concentrates have come on to the market. I have loads of concentrates now but virtually forever am one short, I look at recipes for inspiration more than anything else now.