I started mixing over two years ago but am still a beginner because I only discovered ELR recently and have only made really decent juice after finding @Alisa, @Ken_O_Where and @RocketPuppy. Big thanks to all of them.
I recently organised my stash. Numbered every bottle, carton, bag … all neatly arrayed in one big box. Numbers on the top, just reach in and grab what you need.
I wrote a bit of software to take a recipe off ELR and add my stash numbers; it also suggests alternatives if the recipe calls for flavours that aren’t in my stash. Very easy. I can whisk up something in minutes. And a very delicious something at that.
So what’s the problem? The problem is I’m still a beginner! All I see is numbers. I couldn’t tell you the difference between Bavarian Cream (TPA) and (FA) if such exist. I’ve no idea how to go about creating my own juice from scratch and little confidence in adapting someone else’s. Of course I’ve read loads, seen the youtubes etc. but I’ve now forgotten everything.
So, errr… there you go. My cautionary tale. I’m thinking of moving continent and buying a house next to Alisa.
Well when you figure out how to mix up your own outstanding juice recipe from scratch, PLEASE let me know. I’m still struggling to take that first step myself. I can follow directions and mix other people’s recipes all day long, but lack the confidence or courage to strike out on my own.
I have all the stuff ( equipment, flavoring, chemicals) that is needed. I just don’t have the “Right Stuff” to actually do it
I suggest starting to do single flavor testing so that you can get to know the flavors that you have. Use the flavor notes here on ELR for a starting point. It really helps to have that reference when you are trying to add something to a mix or creating something from scratch. If you know what each flavor tastes like individualy you can then start to add them together to meet your desired flavor.
I don’t suppose you’d like to share that bit of software. If you don’t have a flavor library rich in the most popular flavor brand you don’t get many returns from a what can I make search.
I remembered I had a ton of one ounce condiment cups and lids from Smart and Final from another project and they are ideal for tiny batches for flavor chasing. I put 20 drops of water = 1 eyedropper and a single drop of flavoring in and that is my nose sample. I can go back and sniff that cup at need until my brain knows on it’s own what that version of Bavarian Cream smells and tastes like. If I’m smart I’ll enter my taste notes with the flavor on my list as to how strong or weak it was, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and anything else that comes to mind… I don’t have the ultra sharp nose or the flowing language some of the folks can describe a flavor with but we work with what we have and make the best of it.
I’ve got 15 tiny cups of testers trying to clone my All Day Vape juice and got new flavors today and I’ll blend up 10 or more tiny rounds trying to nail this flavor closer. 3.5 grams VG .5 PG and I flavor by drop up to 20%=1 gram for my shotgun approach to figuring out the ratios on this juice.
So my advice is a shitload of tiny batches as I’ve got to many 30ml and 100ml batches of mix I should pour down the drain as I fear there is no rescuing it… No Chocolate Pudding Dirty Socks smell just way to much maple syrup before I learned not to follow most of the versions of this juice I find.
Most of my recipes from here are quite usable even if I have to make extensive substitutions on flavor brands. I’ve yet to create any real duds except my own harebrained concoctions and they get fewer as I get more practice. In another a decade I might actually know a thing or three.
What scares me the most about mixing flavors without an established recipe is that some flavors seem to chemically combine to form the oddities described above. I’ve tried small batches of what seemed like excellent mixes only to have them come out like a shot of Febreeze on the tongue or grass clippings with cinnamon. I thought I read in at least one forum post (maybe about a unicorn milk clone) that someone was actually discussing the wet chemistry that was happening when all things combined…@MixedUp2 if you really want to venture into your own mixes, put a drop of flavor in a shot glass and add some water to get an idea of what it tastes like. Also, saw a post similar to what @Bob_Bitchen wrote above. Make a 100 drop mix with no Nic. Basically each drop is 1%. So if you want to try something that is 3 flavors at 5% each (15 drops of flavor total) and you prefer around 60/40 VG/PG (assume flavors are mostly PG) add another 25 drops of PG and 60 drops of VG. Sounds tedious, but I’d rather go that route than waste flavors.
This here is why some fall so far down the rabbit hole, trying to find that flavoring we prefer. I have made hundreds and hundreds of single flavor mixes to test flavor and strength, it is a total pain in the ass but it pays off in the long run. And of course even after one find the flavor they like the best some company puts out new ones, by this time we are so far down the rabbit hole that we must try those too, just to be sure.
Once you do find the flavorings you like it is pretty easy to mix up something you like, if you have gone through all the testing stuff. Almost every time i skip this step i regret it.
Inspiration comes from many things, dessert recipes, drink recipes, tv shows, candy, etc. Ill quit babbling now, hehe.
Of course if you ever need some help or have questions we are always here.
This is precisely why this forum and the recipe site is so damn cool. Because if I want to make something all I have to do is decide what flavors the recipe has, then go check out what others here have used these flavors at and go with that. Once I decide I need say Peanut Butter in the mix, I go looking at who has comments about PB, what brand, etc, while grabbing the percentages used. Then decide from that range what my PB ratio to other ingredients needs to be.
Stap me vitals, what a great load of advice. Thanks kindly everyone, I really appreciate your support.
@Alisa So I googled Granbury and clicked real estate. Sheesh - it looks GORGEOUS! You lucky person. Gorgeous also applies to your Kennedy Clone which I have just mixed. Steep time: Dream on!
More thanks to you for that!
@Saxon2 We shall form a club just for people just like us. We’ll call it the ELR Dirty Socks Chicken Club
Sure Bob, I’d be happy to. Be warned though, it’s not prime time stuff, just an old Linux hack’s Python script so a bit of “audience participation” will be necessary. PM me your email if that’s OK. Screenshots here.
@louiesquared Good advice. Thank you. I seriously tried learning flavours 2 years ago. Then I moved house. Twice. Can’t remember anything for more than two minutes now. Getting old!
Well that rings a very big bell. Some experiments I tried got destroyed in seconds just by one drop of something I thought would be fairly innocuous. Others started well and then fell off a cliff. And the time it all takes …
Febreeze, grass, cinnamon - howled when I saw that! Spot on. For me, steamy laundry! Disgusting. (Discovered it was due to VG - anything over 40% VG for me is not going to end happily. Needs so much flavour to overcome the laundry it becomes unpalatable. Never found anyone else with this sensitivity to VG. )
Thank you so much Ken. Great to have support on tap. I appreciate your advice too. I must summon the strength to follow it. Rabbit hole? Oh I’m well through the looking glass too …
Yours in bows, frills and Mary Janes …
Oh, the postman* has just arrived with three new flavours. The excitement grows… what can I make now?
As a sidenote about testing flavors, some people are really touchy about certain flavors. For me it was Coconut Extra, took me a long time to realize that that flavor was throwing my juice off and had to find another flavor to work for me.
It’s hit and miss when making flavors from scratch, I’v been doing this for almost a year and i’m still fine tuning, and playing with a strawberry cheese cake recipe. Understanding how flavors work together comes naturally to me because of a life long interest in cooking. That being said some times you’ll get winners,or find a compliment that brings out the best in a flavor (for example a touch of plum in a blue berry heavy juice can give it a sweet undertone with out killing the blue berry but i’m talking like 0.2 g of plum to 4.6g of blueberry.)
Yet other times you’ll be sure a flavor mix will be amazing and instead you get hot trash ( a great example is I tried to make a hazlenut coffee that ended up tasting like garlic…i’m not kidding I made a raw garlic vape somehow!) My recommendation would be to order some wild flavors every time you restock, I’v had luck with honey suckle from TPA and also found a pinch of their cherry blossom can really help a sweet tea. It’s all about throwing yourself at the wall and seeing if your juice stick,you have to get uncomfortable to make good juice. Hell for every recipe im happy with there were 20 I hated (don’t even get me started on my peach cucumber menthol, i’m on version 13 on that and i’m still not happy with it T_T
Anyhow sorry for the text wall, just thought i’d chip in and give my two cents, don’t be afraid to try your hand at what ever comes to mind.Also might be worth looking up the flavor profiles of your favorite main stream e juices and trying to clone them, that how i got a better idea of how to make my own.
I feel that, took me forever to realize that the DX Bavarian cream (TPA) I was using mixed with the Cheescake Graham Crust (TPA) made and cheese cake flavor taste dusty. ended up replacing it with a touch of sweet cream