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Newbie: how to get started with strongly flavoured juices


#1

I’ve been vaping for about 8 months following a 33 year/30+ cigs a day habit and I’m delighted to be tobacco free. The problem I face is that all juices taste very mild to me. To illustrate what I mean, imagine eating a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. The first taste is intense flavour which makes your mouth water. Over time it reduces but remains strong. Nearer the end it’s lost most of it’s strength but you still can identify that it is (was?) juicy fruit. At the end it’s just flavourless chewing gum. To me, most juices taste like the third stage. To my wife (who has never smoked and doesn’t vape), the same juices taste like the second stage so clearly the problem is me.

I’d like to try my hand at DIY to see if I can get something strong enough to suit my taste buds. Like with learning any new skill, I’d like to keep things simple to begin with and I’m hoping you can help clear a few doubts.

Mixing only by weight
If a recipe calls for 5% of flavour A and 5% of flavour B, I thought I could begin by mixing equal parts of the 2 flavours, say 5 gms each giving me 10 gms of flavour pre-mix. Then keeping to the original recipe, I add 1 gm of my flavour mix to 9 gms of pre-mixed VG/PG/nic (which I happen to already own) so I end up with 10 gms of juice out of which flavour is 10%. I then increase the flavour pre-mix to 1.5 gms and add 8.5 gms of base, giving me 15% strength. Then 2 + 8 for 10% and 2.5 + 7.5 for 25%. This way 1 have 4 x 10 gm bottles of this recipe at different percentages. Is this an okay way to strengthen the juice? I know I will end up with odd ml amounts and this may not be true to how the original recipe was meant, but as long as I am consistent I should be able to find my sweet spot somewhere in there right?

Single flavour testing
From what I have read here, it seems SFT is a vital first step. Can I use the same principle above but make small quantities? For example, if I want to SFT a Watermelon, can I add 0.1 gms of flavour to 0.9 gms of base (10%), 0.15 to .85 (15%) and 0.2 to 0.8 (20%) and have 3 x 1 gm samples of different strengths? Is it correct that with such small quantities I could test the results with only 1 or 2 days steeping?

Flavour brands
I live in India and I have access to around 250 TFA flavours but much fewer (1-20) flavours of other brands so my first steps are going to revolve around TFA. Can you recommend any of their better flavours, or steer me away from some of their avoidable ones?

More info
I build my own coils (Kanthal 28ga) around 1.4 ohms and vape MTL at 12 watts. My gear includes Siren 1, Siren 2, Berserker and DoggyStyle. Other than 200 ml of pre-mixed 70VG/30PG/18mg base, I do not own any DIY stuff yet. I don’t care about hitting any exact ml or nic strength figures at this stage and any ratio of 70/30/18mg or less is fine. My current ADV is a menthol tobacco at 60/40/12mg as it’s the only one I have found that has a strong enough taste for me to enjoy. I like fruit/mint and sweet/tangy flavours.

I read on the forum that there is no such thing as a stupid question but please forgive my ignorance anyway. For me there is no such thing as too obvious advice and I would appreciate anything that can help.

Thanks in advance,
Vik


#2

I highly recommend that you start of with single flavor testing and use mg (milligrams) instead of g. Otherwise you’re going to have a very expensive testing batch. You will need a proper scale for it that is sensitive to 0.01g changes.
People usually test 10 to 15ml batches, so again, you’re talking about small quantities. Often, people use an RDA on which they can just drip a few drops, vape and evaluate. The amount of steeping to be done depends on the flavor and the mix. Usually fruits don’t require much steeping, bakery and tobacco flavors do.
Again, steeping is part of the SFT. Try a bit as a shake and vape. Take notes. Wait a couple days, try again, take notes. After a week, try again and take notes. After the 2nd week, try again and take notes, and so on.
For the strength… first of all, read up on the flavor you’re testing. Some flavors are really potent, others not so much. This can differ greatly within the same brand. Then make a few samples, e.g. 1%, 2%, 3%, 5% (or higher % if the flavor isn’t very strong. A lot of TPA flavors require 8% or 10% as a single flavor).

If you’re going to make recipes, it’s very important to keep the balance of the flavors like others have intended, or you’re going to change the flavor profile.
You can always increase the total flavor % however and I would approach this the same way as you do your SFT testing.
Once you have a recipe you want to try, adapt it (click on the wrench icon) and create a one-shot concentrate. With that, you can make different testers at different % and see what works for you.

I highly recommend that you also browse the beginners forum and read through the pinned posts. They contain a lot of useful information and teach you how to do these things, how to start mixing, find what works for you, etc. But don’t stop with the pinned threads… if you want to feel a bit comfortable with mixing your own juices, you’re going to need to test and try a lot, as well as spend many hours reading these forums.


#3

Taste is so subjective… it’s kinda hard to do. If you browse through the flavor list, you’ll see for nearly every flavor ratings from 1 to 5 stars. It all depends on what you like and how your taste buds perceive a flavor.
The best way to start is to look up recipes that you’d be interested in and order the flavors that are used. You can and should read up on other people’s flavor notes as well, they often contain a wealth of information. Don’t limit yourself to this site. If you can’t find the information here, you can always ask in this forum and use google.


#4

@Vik3 welcome to the forum , you will find plenty of help to get you started. @Suomynona has given you some great advice .
Single flavor tests are awesome and needed but honestly just starting out I would try and find a few highly rated mixes and try that before I started mixing up something from scratch IMO.
Here is a great read on how to get started.


#5

Thank you @Suomynona for the quick reply. I have a friend who is a jeweller and he has recommended an accurate scale that measures to 0.01g which I’ll pick up this weekend. With respect to flavour recommendations, I know it’s tough to impossible to say. My question was more along the lines of which flavours from TFA are broadly acknowledged as being decent and perhaps more importantly, which are broadly acknowledged as being awful! I’ll browse through the flavour list and see what I can learn. I don’t intend on being too adventurous at this stage :slight_smile:


#6

Hello @BoyHowdy, thank you and nice to be here.

SFT for me is really an effort/investment for the future. For now I will only stick to the tried and tested. I’ve added some 2 and 3 flavour recipes to my favourites and I’ll sort out a shopping list over the next couple of days. I’m looking for several everyday vapes rather than a single all day vape. I’m currently “stuck” with one juice but my medium term goal is to try and get even 1 or 2 juices that I like. In the longer terms I hope to be able to tweak stuff (or maybe even think up stuff) into juices that I love, and then I’ll be set. Just the thought of having different juices that I can pick up and vape when the mood strikes makes me smile!


#7

@BoyHowdy has already given a good link to start, this next one is a great link too.
It’s about more than just TPA, but it’ll give you a good idea about what is considered “good”.


#8

Some TFA flavors that are generally well thought of-
Toasted Marshmallow
Strawberry Ripe
Honeydew
Bavarian Cream
Dragon Fruit
Banana Cream
Ry4 Double
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

These are some that come to mind. Good luck.


#9

This is what I mean with taste is subjective because I hate Bavarian Cream and VBIC from TPA. A chemical eggy mess and a mouth full of pepper :smiley:

What I would personally add to this list though is

Apple Candy
Blueberry Extra
Jamaican Rum
Peach Juicy
Vanilla Swirl
Sweat Cream
Brown Sugar
Strawberry
Marshmallow

and some flavor enhancers
Cotton Candy (EM 10%)
Acetyl Pyrazine
Vanillin

And I can’t speak from experience, but I hear the Coconut is also pretty good, albeit very strong so be careful how you mix this. There are quite a few recipes with Mango too so I assume that’s a good one too.


#10

Here is where I start when I want to pick a flavor. I look at the most widely used flavors in a recpie. As you can see…strawberry ripe tpa is number 1.

This method isn’t perfect…but why not start with the most used flavors. Taste is subjective, but if you can only source tpa then you have your work cut out for you. If your lucky it would be great if you could find a source for flavorart.

http://e-liquid-recipes.com/flavors?q=Tpa&sort=num_recipes&direction=desc


#11

Lol, I get it. I see so many people say I love X and a seemingly equal
number say they don’t. I’ll take a proper look at the TPA flavour list
tomorrow morning but right now it’s 9.30pm and I’ve got my wife giving me
the “put your phone down” look :slight_smile:

Thank you so much and to you @Nchris and @Chrispdx for helping.


#12

No problem sir. Anytime and good luck.


#13

I can see that I misjudged you , I am sorry . You have obviously thought this out , set goals and will do all you can to make it happen. I think you will be fine!
The majority quickly get overwhelmed when it comes to doing SFT for 30-60 flavors when they start out. I still hate it with a passion but it has to be done so I do it.
Hopefully you will find a place to where you can get some Capella’s flavoring as well as some others.


#14

@ Vik3 remember that your taste buds, and smell, are damaged to an extent by your years of smoking.
It does get better though, eventually.


#15

It’s been 8 months :sob:. My sense of smell has improved a little but I’m finding that’s not always a good thing :rofl:


#16

No need to apologise mate, I greatly appreciate your readiness to help. Experience has taught me that when learning a new skill, concentrate on the basics. It may feel slow and a little boring but sound fundamentals will make the rest of the journey much easier, faster and more fun. Switching from smoking to vaping has changed my life and I’m determined to make the best of this.

Following on from what @Suomynona, @Chrispdx and @NChris have said above, I’m going to get flavours from the most highly rated 2 and 3 flavour recipes that I find appealing and try and mix up juice that I can vape on a day to day basis. That should take the immediate pressure off. I’ll create a “fake” stash of the flavours/profiles I like and see what sort of stuff I could possibly make and then use the most common ones in some SFT to try and better relate to what recipes might actually taste like.

Now please excuse me while I tie myself to the chair, or else I’m going to run out of the office and start doing all of this now :blush:


#17

Suggest recipe first then buy flavors and SFT
Arnie is pretty heavy handed and sticks to quite a few TPA/TFA flavors, might check out:
https://ecigvape.com/recipes/arnieh&order=ct%20Re:%20


#18

Wow! Thank you, I would never have found that myself. Browsing through it now and there’s a couple I’ve already found that fit my intended flavour stash.

I think you’re right about recipes first. By picking recipes I like (2-4 flavours max), I’ve created a flavour list of 11 so far. I’ll finish up with Arnie’s list and place my first order.


#19

The first 3 recipes I opened had several brand flavors in them…

@Vik3 If you look around, there are other flavors available in India, e.g. http://anarchistvapors.com
They have quit a few good brands.

Just google for it, i’m sure there are more
e.g. http://flavourella.com/

If you look at http://www.indianvapers.com/coupons, they have coupons for shops in other Asian countries, so I assume import is no issue either. If you have all of Asia available to purchase flavors, I’m sure you can get pretty much any flavor concentrate most people here have access to.

Some brands you definitely need some flavors to get access to the most recipes are
CAP
TPA
FA
FW
INAWERA


#20

I too found Flavorella and another one called Flavourwala here in India that are exclusively flavours and are indeed carrying multiple brands, so I’m going to review their range properly. The guy in my town who I spoke to only had TPA but these two sites have good feedback on Facebook so things are looking up, yay!

I focussed so much on TPA that I ignored other brands and would like to do a little research. I’ll do so over the next week and place a fresh order for stuff. Since I’ve already compiled a list of recipes and flavours (TPA only) I’m going to kick off with that now. It’s a small inexpensive list (11) and I’m too excited and impatient to wait :blush:.