I am not a lab scientist, just an old fart retired engineer that had to include lab work in/for my career.
I have used magnetic stirrers for 50yrs with many viscosity’s.
Please allow me to convey my experience with how I converted it to e-juice.
I see the unfamiliar (new folks), buying units(new and used), and it is a smart thing to do. In my opinion it works better than a frother, or even a Badger 121 paint mixer, although I have/use a Badger 121 for certain applications, and not a frother. I am speaking of magnetic stirrers.
I see many mixers that use heat in one form or another to mix/steep, I am against it completely for my use. It’s not so bad for any mix WITHOUT nicotine, but heat is liquid nicotine’s enemy.
Each of us chooses our method, and some methods are based on 2-6+ years of usage/experience, and by reputable folks. I did not approach my method from any website [per se] that was e-juice related, nor from a youTube video, so many of you may discount anything I have to say, but I base it on experience…and I am nobody special. I do own some high end magnetic heated stirrers, and if I use one for e-juice, I never turn on the heat. Mostly I use an analog mag-mix by GCA Precision Scientific  that is 25-30yrs ? old, and I just found another on ebay for $28 + shipping.
I mix in beakers [100ml] and put my stir bar in at the beginning, usually a high grade .75" ‘capsule’ , for a 60ml batch of juice. Add my VG and/or PG, flavors, then the nicotine on top. [mixing by weight]
I use beakers [science lab quality-flat bottom] because I can watch the scale readout while I drip ingredients and not miss the hole and make a mess, or touch the bottle and change the readout.
When all is in the beaker, I put it on the mag stirrer [DUH, DOH!] and start it slowly until I get a smooth spin on the bar. Many people have complained their magnetic stirrer won’t create a vortex all the way to the bottom, or they can’t get past a certain RPM…WTF for? Just get a smooth stir, a quiet stir, going, and don’t worry. Use will tell you all you need to know about speed, size of stir bar, etc. When you doubt that it’s mixing enough, take a flashlight [we all have a tactical led one, right?] shine your light sideways thru the beaker and see the air circulating…it’s hard to see without the light. Let it run for 30-40 minutes…the brown ring of nic that was at the top when you began will no longer be visible.[if you added your nic last- I use this as a gauge of sorts]. DONE MIXING at this point. Use your retriever to remove your spin bar and place it in your wash water beaker, stir it around manually, remove both [retriever and spin bar] and dry off. Pour your mix into bottles of choice !!! BAM !! Your shit will be thoroughly mixed.
Friction, you know what that is [ask your wife when she is complaining that it hurts, big boy].(sorry, Ladies, to be crass) Why don’t you need an expensive heated magnetic stirrer? [or a cheap one that won’t last]
I start at room temperature [mixing]. When I get to the point of placing my batch on the stirrer, it is [for me] around 84degrees F…after 30-40 minutes of stirring on a non-heated magnetic stirrer, the temperature is about 104degrees F any questions? It never bothers my nic, it thoroughly stirs, and when I shake it 2 days later, I get tons of air bubbles. No reason to trust me, I have no youTube videos, but try it this way, and all the other ways. Use your brain and decide for yourself. I have made tinctures and oil blends for decades and some REQUIRE heat, but I see no reason for heat making e-juice, but hey, did I mention, I am an old fart. If this above isn’t clear, and you wish it was, contact me…I growl but I don’t have any teeth to bite.
The pics [if I remember] show a small vortex at the beginning of a stir. You want a smooth, quiet stir, so you may need to turn it up to get started, but watch it closely, then turn it down as needed for a steady stir. It may look like nothing is happening, but shine a light thru the side and see the air bubbles. At the end of 30-40 minutes it should be cloudy when you shine the light thru it [pic].
I am not talking about thin juice either…the pics are from tonight making Alisa’s Bust-A-Nut @ 20PG/80VG
No negative heresay accepted [so and so said that…] I have too many critters to feed than chasing farts around the clock, but if you have a valid [adult] question…shoot me [a line].
I am not a lab scientist, just an old fart retired engineer that had to include lab work in/for my career.
Mixing and Steeping Methods
Does anyone use an eletronic mixer? what kind?
Frothing... do you feel it causes "sugar" to separate?
How do you stir your mix? Poll / Thoughts
Mag mixer question
Another mad scientist is born
Thank you @ozo for the valuable info. I’m nic free on my juices for months now and this makes perfect sense as well. I will look into the Precision 65904 for a future investment. The badger so far is working well for my small mixes. However, the expertise on equipment and method is appreciated and welcome.
Thank you so very much for the experienced information. I, for one, appreciate the time you took in spelling it out for us all. I have been wanting to find out more info about a magnetic stir machine for awhile now. I’ve been using that Badger paint mixer for a couple of years now. I never have used heat on my mixes for the same reason as you. When I have more money in my budget, I am going to get that Precision mixer myself.
Thank you sincerely, Brother.
I am not advertising anything, selling anything,promoting anything.
When I was a little kid my Grandpa always said [“the older I get, the less I know”] and I never understood WTF he was saying, until I got older, much older.
I have so many chores each day [some surely are at this desk] I don’t have time to blow smoke, but I somehow feel a responsibility to pass on info that I [DOH! senility has set in] hope can help others from simply being old and traveled. No one needs to pay me any attention, it’s not that, but the past is rapidly becoming lost…in all areas, and the new agenda is replacing it.
I fear for the younger generation, not for myself, I just wish to pass on what I think I know, and that may be squat.
@MisterSinner It doesn’t have to be the 65904 or even a GCA…there are shit-loads of lab equipment manufacturers…in the USA. Some ebay stuff is a rip, some that may seem to be a rip are actually a bargain, if you know the mfg/model. Also bad funky pics of the equipment doesn’t mean a no-sale for me.
Good deals [anywhere] need research and shopping time, and if you get ready for one, if you don’t mind, I will help you find one.
@Alisa Darlin’, you DaMomma…I DO use a Badger 121 paint mixer…but if I use it in small batches, I use it fast for a short time[not just e-juice] because it does create friction from the speed, and some tinctures I make can’t take it, unless for ruin. It’s not all the same [what I make other than e-juice] but they have things in common.
I will help if you allow me, if you even think you need me to…just say so, it would be my pleasure to spend your money…I do enough damage on my own.
I appreciate the time you took to relay all this information. I’ve been looking at one for a while. Just wasn’t sure if it’s really worth the money to invest in one. Money it tight right now. But it will get better in time. Again thank you for this great info.
Believe me, I will be asking you for advice right away when I’m ready.
The reason I use heat (crock pot mini) is to disipate the alcohol from the mix, Cap Sweet Strawberry for example…it effing kills me as a shake and vape. So I add heat for about an hour and then let it breathe over night, and my mix is usually vape able the next day with little to no irritation.
Ive also never experienced any issue with this method in regards to nicotine (3mg).
I understand, really. There are different methods for different reasons, above is simply my method, but I do also use heat…but mine is slowly added, and by friction. I also ‘breathe’ the alcohol out, and efficiently, by stirring. I normally use 100ml beakers. They have a 2" top opening that allows the alcohol to quickly evaporate while stirring, and around 100+ degrees F
There are also many different stir bars available today[that I forgot to mention above…bad robot ]. You have a bunch of stirring options, and can easily customize the stir to what you want/need. If you use a magnetic retriever rod you can easily change the stir bars out until you get what you like.
You can use a wide mouth beaker to mix in to speed up evaporation…and to easily put in your flavors while watching the numbers, and not make a spill. You can use Erlenmeyer flasks that have a narrow top opening if you want/need to stir fast and have less evaporation, or you can change the stir bar to get the ‘rhythm’ you wish. Many, many configurations. I don’t suggest using dropper bottles [like Boston rounds] because I have never seen one with a flat bottom, and your stir bar won’t know where it wants to go…nor do I recommend using plastic.My mixes usually age, and get dispensed, in/from 2oz Vestil LDPE squeeze bottles, but I don’t stir in them. It’s easy to pour in them, especially with a Yeuton SS funnel.
Your method is being used all over the world, and has been for years…no doubt it works,eh? My method has also, for decades, and I have used it for 50yrs, long before there was e-juice (or crock pots), so naturally I would gravitate to it. Did I mention I also use heat? Just in a different form.
I use a drill with a home made stirrer and it mixes the sh!$ out of my liquid, but i never considered the fact that it might heat it up. I thought I didn’t use heat in my mixing but it seems i was wrong. So is it to much heat or is it ok?
I have been considering the magnetic stirrer for some time now. I guess I should go ahead and do some research and pic one and then purchase it. Thanks to the advice.
This is all I use to check my temps in the juice. It is for objects, not for human temps.
Good idea! I have one very similar and didn’t think about using it. I also have a temperature probe on my mixer that I haven’t used yet either.
Even if you have a digital infrared thermometer for the kids. pets, yourself…you can use it, BUT, it should have a separate mode to switch between reading temps on humans and reading temps on objects.
@Bearkat I have a couple of stirrers with a temperature probe and an adj. arm to hold it [like yours]. I have used them years ago but only a few times, and for large, thin viscosity liquids. Years ago we didn’t have many options, like infrared thermometers. I thought they were in the way most of the time, and they had to be held up in the liquid to stay clear of the mixing bar, making it useless for small batches. I also think it interferes with the stirring/mixing. I would usually place it in to check the temp, then remove it, then it would need to be cleaned after each dip into the solution, and careful not to drip outside the beaker. Plus I had to be careful not to drag the wire across my work and knock it over. These infrared solve all of those issues, plus they have a memory in case you have a use.
The VG is pretty thick when I first start mixing, which brings me to the stir bars. I [usually] mix in 100ml beakers for a 60ml batch. I use small stir bars [5/8" to 3/4"] and generally the octagon style, sometimes capsule, and with a stir post[ridge], not a smooth bar [for e-juice]. If you have a set like the pic, I use the two to the left. You can buy them separate from the set, but this is for size comparison. Larger beakers use a larger bar, etc. The octagon style gives a good vortex for VG. I use these mini funnels a lot, especially for the glass rounds with eye droppers. I usually pour straight into the 2oz dispenser bottles, but it works good on them also. They store well on the bottle spouts for easy access.
That’s the reason I haven’t used the temp probe (it came free with it but not the arm to hold it). The infrared temp gauge I have is for automotive purposes and should work well here. Also, your setup looks pretty much like mine. The stir bars looks just like the ones I have but they are not octagonal. I need to get some that are. I also just recently added another 1" one that is octagonal and is a samarium cobalt rare earth magnet and it seems to work much better at stirring up the heavy VG juices. I still don’t get a result like you show in the pic but I’m happy in my belief that it is mixing up the juice like I want. I also mostly mix up batches of 60mls in a 100ml beaker or 120mls in a 250ml beaker. I don;t get the vortex like you do when I’m stirring up a 120ml batch. It only comes down about half way but it is stirring it up pretty good.
Also, that metal funnel works great for thicker juices and I use mine all the time filling bottles. One other trick I have been doing lately is to pre measure out the amount of VG I am planning on using (+ a tiny bit extra), put it in a beaker and sit it on a coffee warmer to let it heat up a bit and make it less viscous. Then I just pour out what I need for each recipe. It really helps when it comes time to do the mixing.
Most of the time you can’t see the vortex or the bubbles just looking at it. I shine a high-power led flashlight thru the side of the beaker. This pic is no exception…without the light it didn’t look like it was doing much.
That package of stir bars in the pic are the [inexpensive] ones from Amazon, BUT the are BIPPIE, which are lab quality[sort of]. Half are smooth capsule and half are octagonal. Can’t beat 'em for a buck each. Some of mine were $10+ EACH, specialized bars are twice that, each. http://www.amazon.com/magnetic-stirrer-mixer-White-Color/dp/B00IVASAPI?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00
For others looking, here is an example of used lab quality stirrers at a decent price [other than the shipping cost]. I would pay the same price for a used stirrer made for lab use as I would for a new ‘standard use’ stirrer. This one is very clean. The seller also deals in used lab equipment as a profession, which is another plus to look for.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121422338717 Speaking of shipping costs, and “lab” equipment…sellers that deal with lab equipment all the time package things properly. This company, yes, company [Renewed Equipment] has professional packing on everything I have purchased. I bought a STEMI microscope from them. It’s about 3feet x 4feet x 3.5feet and the shipping was over $200. It not only arrived perfectly, but I saved over 70%, and it looked brand new.
@Bearkat My VG lives at room temperature. I don’t fuss with it. I let the stirrer and stir bar do their job, and let it come to fruition ‘naturally’ , so to speak. A decent stirrer matched with the right stir bar/beaker has little to no effort attaining a smooth mixing rhythm. All of my ingredients are room temp when I mix. I like them to be heated gently together [by friction], and I think it makes better juice…but I am old and maybe senile [how would I know ? ] and you can’t teach an old fart new shit…but it’s similar to cooking (from scratch), some recipes require a ‘jolt’ to properly work, yet some recipes will ‘curdle’ if you shock them. I just see no reason to ‘shock’ e-juice…if that makes any sense.
Those are the ones I have.
Here is the rare earth magnet one I also got.
And these I have thought about getting.
Yessir, that is how you do it RIGHT !
“And these I have thought about getting.”— Bearkat
[4 are octagon]
Diameter x Length
[6 are octagon]
Guess, I’ll just stick with what I have.
I’ve learned with stir bars you get what you pay for. I purchased the pack of seven mentioned on Amazon and it took six weeks to get them from China. Decided to get a high quality bar with prime for quick shipping to use while waiting on China, payed $17.99 for one and the magnate was twice as strong.
Also had problems retrieving the China bars from juice when finished with the retriever rod (magnate in stir bar was weak). So I would just use a magnate and slide the bar up the outside of the beaker. Worked better since I no longer had to clean the retriever rod.
Even bought a octagon stir bar for large batches. Not much to say except regular bar works just as good.