Since I’ve started making my e-liquid I’ve seen plenty of claims and theories around steeping (cap on/off, introducing air while mixing, using heat etc.) but very little actual evidence to back any of these up.
I think the only real way to have any degree of confidence that any of these techniques affect the end result is through blind tests/ ABX testing.
I’m not even talking about whether a certain technique makes a liquid taste better (that’s very subjective), I’m talking about whether it creates a perceptible difference.
I’m only wondering about this in the context of PG/VG/flavors interaction, not the influence on nicotine itself (which is known to be heavily influenced by air/light/temperature). In my own mixes I add nic at the very end so that it’s out of the equation.
I am well versed with audiophile/sound quality myths and I know first hand that it’s really easy for our senses to deceive us, for example through confirmation/expectation bias.
So here is my question: can anyone here link to ANY research/testing that follows a somewhat scientific approach, on any of these variables, as they relate to the perception of the final product?
- ultrasonic treatment
- … ?
Surely, with the myriad of companies producing commercial e-liquid, there should be more than anedoctal evidence around?
I’m not gonna post links to any research or evidence of any sort.
Why you might ask, well since i got time to wait for my liquids to steep i just let them sit in a cupboard and do just that until i feel they are ready to vape.
I don’t feel like i have to experiment with all kinds of gadgets or methods to make my liquids steep since time do it so well for me.
Booo. I hate linking stuff while on my phone. There is a YouTube channel called new Amsterdam vape. He has a pretty decent video on steeping. Check it out.
Beyond that. Diy is all about doing it yourself. Methodology really comes down to resources and time and preference.
I find that I really can only enjoy almost 30mls of an adv. sure I could mix 400mls and pull off of it. But I don’t. I like mixing. Plus I don’t want to use my resources for a mixer.
So by choice I spend the time resource coeffiant in my diy equation. Mix more, and have 60 unique mixes in the drawer.
As for air introduction. Welp. Who needs a study. Read 10,000 posts and you will see a trend that introduction of too much air can degrade nic and flavors. Now what is the threshold for that for a pleasant vape? It’s based on the mixer. For me, at this point i mix a 15 or 30ml bottle and it’s gonna sit for 4-6 weeks automatically. So for me, outside of head space in the bottle I want very little to zero additional air exposure. Personally I find that outside of lemon vapes I don’t find a difference between a fully steeped juice and one that sat for an extra 3-4 weeks.
Happy mixing. The above comes from love.
Thanks for the responses. Just for context: the reason why I’m trying to understand the influence of these variables is that I’d like to experiment more easily. Sure, I can mix it all in and then leave it be for 1 month, but then that means I have to wait one month between each iteration. Ultimately I think it limits how creative or bold I can be with my recipes because it just takes so damn long to assess the impact of any tweak.
I also have access to a sous vide machine/ immersion circulator, so it’s very easy for me to completely control the temperature. It’d be great to know for a fact if there is temperature range that speeds up the process without harming flavors. Right now I’m using 31C/88F but it’s just based on hearsay.
Have you read this thread? Maybe you’ll find it useful.
Not scientific really but there is some info floating around. Ozo has a mag. mixer post showing how you can stir without over aerating the mixture( based on pics). Lordvapors mag. mixer post shows coloration after a couple hrs. equal to 2 weeks steeping in the closet. Surely thats a small piece. You could also review Pbrusardo review of molecule labs. They do give some info and if you could research the mixers they are using that could be another clue.I am a clueless noob but am also fascinated by these things! We seem to be on our own here so we need to piece things together and experiment!
Thanks Underanne! I hope this post develops!
My apologies to Phil if your lurking for basterdizing that spelling
Thanks for the info xxanalog! I’m also thinking that flavor manufacturers themselves would know how their concentrates develop with time. I’ll contact Flavour Art and report back.
I’m no scientist and I don’t have half the experience most folks do on this forum but I have a couple of friends who owned businesses mixing. They advised me to steep my juice immersed in water, for 2-3 hrs, no more than 150 degrees F. All I have is a pot and a stove. No ultrasonic cleaner or lab shaker. Then there are those who believe in just waiting with patience. I personally believe time is the best solution. You can’t force a wine before it’s time, eh?
What I like about DIY is that we get to play. I recommend testing the variables for yourself, only for the fun of it of course.
I have found the art of DIY is a bit of a black art. There is a lot to be confirmed and the more data the better. Try all the methods recommended, I often get conflicting advice here. And often they both work, so then it falls to user preferences. Just remember to share your work where appropriate. I appreciate that stuff.
See ya round.
This comes up with mixers all the time and I have my own theory on this for my style of mixing not anyone else’s
Time I take it you are referring to steep time… I know there are at least one or two types of flavoring that needs an extended steep time custards/cheesecakes and creams and that depends on directly how you use it. There is a third type of e-liquid where steep time shows beneficial and those are muti-flavored mixes with several spices and layers. I have found that in my experience that 1 to 7 days is all I ever need to let them sit. If I have to let them sit longer than that, I have not mixed properly and the recipe has failed.
Air-I am guessing you are talking about leaving the cap off of your mix. For me, if I leave the cap off for more than a couple of hours to me the liquid tastes staler/weaker and staler/staler the longer the cap is off. So in my experience no more than two hours or else the liquid quality suffers more and more the longer it is exposed to air.
Heating a liquid is something I stopped doing a long time ago. I find that my liquids do not last as long once it has been heated over extended periods. Much like being in air too long the liquids quality goes down the hotter it is heated and over a long heat time. Warming the liquid a little when first mixing works fine for me if I want but that’s about all the heat my liquids ever get.
A lot of factors come into play. The bottles I store in was a big one I have had problems with. I started with the plastic PET bottles. Tried HDPE. Now everything I mix goes into amber glass bottles. I have seen a difference in the quality of my juice over time. I am vaping nearly one year old Bust-A-Nut right now. It was made Feb 26th of last year. I have asked 2 chemists about heat, stirring, air, etc. Neither seemed to be too sure about their answers. And one contradicted the other for the most part. So do your own testing. I am happy to share my method which is in my mixer thread. But everyone has their own way of making their juice.
What it all boils down to is if there is any actual, empirical evidence of the affects of variables, and you managed to get your hands on it, you would still be relying on the assertions of another. Clearly you have a grasp of the scientific method, and it would appear that you have the mental bandwidth to execute your own experiments. That is exactly what I think you should do. I have tried various things and have settled on simple time as my method for properly aging a juice. But you may find another method (and the science to support it) that works better for you. Sadly, however, what I think you’ll discover is there is no one-size-fits-all; meaning that what may affect one juice with it’s ingredients may not have the same affect on another. I have only witnessed this with the application of heat, but I strongly suspect other influences would be the same.
So why not do the experiments yourself?
Thanks for the encouragement. I think I will do that!
Coloration aint steeping (or aging- nor develop of flavors, fuzion of molecules) its just oxydation on nikotine and flavors.
leaded, I believe you are trying to make a good point but the translation is terrible. Could you try to explain yourself in a more cohesive manner? (The part thats in parentheses).
Most of us can barely speak English, so I applaud anyone speaking multiple languages. And this was not like reading Homer’s Odyssey either.
The coloring of one’s juice is not an indicator of it having steeped - nor does it indicate it has aged, had flavors develop, or there has been fusion of the molecules. It’s just a visible sign the nicotine has oxidized.
Pretty sure that’s what was being said, although I don’t 100% agree because you can certainly get color changes with mixes that contain no nicotine at all.
Now I’m putting my crayons back in the box and going to sleep!
I was wondering about liquid I made ( Bust-a-Nut by Alisa) that has steeped for over a month without the color changing, or very little noticeable change. I assumed it meant that the nic had not oxidized (Nic Select from NR) and that it was probably a good sign?
Other juices I’ve made have changed color a little, but nowhere near as much as the pre-made juices that I used to buy.
I assume that the flavors used play a small part in color change, but that nicotine oxidization is main cause of color change?
If my assumption is not correct, why haven’t my liquids changed color much?