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Best use of SOUR

Hey ELR. So I just released a video on my channel talking about sour flavors and sour vapes. In the video I explain how Malic Acid is really the only additive in mixing that can really give us a sour flavor, but how ineffective it is because of the harshness that comes with high amounts of it. Also the fact that the sour receptors in our bodies are only on our tongue, and that vapor isn’t the best carrier of these compounds to our palates.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of sour flavors, candies, things in general. It doesn’t really do it for me. But it’s something I’m really interested in recreating in a recipe because I haven’t seen it done effectively. I’ve had eliquids that claimed to be “sour” but were either only slightly sour with no real flavor to them, almost like a gimmick. Or the vape was too harsh and completely uncomfortable when vaping. Now the way I’ve been using Malic Acid that’s seem to work the best is using it in conjunction with Sucralose and “citrus” like flavors. The sucralose carries the malic acid a bit better to the palate then when its by itself, yet it’s still not giving me that mouth puckering sour flavor.

I’m wondering what everyone thinks is the best use of sour in an eliquid or recipe. Is there an eliquid you had that was particularly sour? Or have you mixed a recipe that did sour really effectively? It’s something I’ve been working on as of late and wanted to get as much info as I can on the subject. I’m beginning to think there’s just no real way to get that sourness I’m looking for, but for now I’m going to keep on drudging. KEEP MIXING MUCH LOVE


If I run out of sour (I put very small amounts of it in my menthol fruit mixes) I use Lemon Sicily. Does essentially the same thing… an acidic bite note… whoops almost forgot… when you mix cheesecake vapes, always put a touch of lemon in it. A gourmet NY Cheesecake will always have just a touch of lemon in it.

“Sour sanding, or sour sugar, is a food ingredient that is used to impart a sour flavor, made from citric or tartaric acid and sugar. It is used to coat sour candies such as acid drops and Sour Patch Kids, or to make hard candies taste tart, such as SourTarts” - not sure if there is a way to incorporate this method into a recipe but it’s what the big company’s use to make their sweets sour


I use a combo of Sour Wizard FA and Pyure with my MF fruit mixes. IMO these are the best Concentrates on the planet. Although some may a too tart/bitter alone… this combo really rounds them out and heighten the fruit flavor.


It might be worth an experiment to see how Citric Acid may react within the mix?

ive never used sour before trying to create a skittles vape at 2 pct im hoping its what makes the difference

im not sure there is a way to create that real mouth puckering sour taste with vape

I havnt used it for a long while but sweetang tpa. It’s more candy smarties but at different levels it can be used to “tang” a fruit flavor. But again I havnt played with it for awhile but I know I have a smarties billberry FA recpie from 6-8 months ago.

I purchased “Sour” specifically to make this, seemed like an interesting mix, but as of yet I haven’t attempted to try the sour, as you said @Wayne_Walker I’m not really (at least not yet) a big fan of sour, maybe that will change though…


Ingredient %
Banana (CAP) 1.5
Coconut (CAP) 1
Juicy Orange (CAP) 2
Peach (TPA) 7
Sour (TPA) 0.5
Sweet Cream (CAP) 4
Watermelon (TPA) 8
Whipped Cream (TPA) 1

Flavor total: 25%

Remember to rate it at e-liquid-recipes.com!

I use sour in a number of my recipes. I use malic acid in most of my fruit juices as a flavor enhancer just as sweeteners or marshmallow or cactus can enhance fruits and make them more intense. Quite often I use it in conjunction with some type of sweetener unless the base flavor is already very sweet. I do not use any prepared malic acid but prefer to get the powdered malic acid and mix it at 2 grams per 10 ml of PG. I know that most of the flavoring companies mix it at half that, so I am wondering if the harshness you are getting is because you have to add twice as much to get the same effect, doubling the amount of PG. Perhaps it is another ingredient or additive they are using in their sour that is causing harshness. Maybe try mixing your own from powder and see if you still get harshness. If you don’t taste the sour, then perhaps try a slower inhale and let it float over your tongue. It could be your tastebuds just aren’t as receptive to sour as other peoples are. I use my double strength at between 0.25% to 1% and don’t perceive any harshness, but we all taste and sense things differently.


I have found sour - Malic acid to be useful in fruits that need lifting helps them " pop " I’ve been messing around a bit w/ some deeper diy additives but have been busy so haven’t had the time to test them, but my theory goes like this…Malic acid use it as the higher % in the recipe then follow it w/ a lower % of Ascorbic acid to reduce the PH level of the juice as Ascorbic acid by nature reduces PH.

Sour PH levels - anywhere from 2-4 ( think willy wonka sour candy )

** A little bit of nerd science here ** PH Levels are Acidic below 7 and basic or Alkaline above 7
7.35-7.45 is the acidity of our blood, and tap water is supposed to be at 7.0

Deionized water - 5.0 but when exposed to air it can quickly return to 7.0 d/t introduction of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. http://www.mrlhydraulics.com/uploads/Propylene_glycol.pdf

Battery acid is to be considered around a PH of 1.

Ascorbic acid is sour. One definition of acid is a proton donor. Adding protons to a solution increases the hydrogen ion concentration (lowers pH). Taste of sourness in the taste buds is due to detection of lower pH than neutral. Our brains have evolved to interpret low pH as sour for some reason. So, from that explanation we can say all acids have a sour taste, but there are many other factors that affect taste, a molecule may contain other functional groups that can stimulate other taste buds like sweet or bitter. An example is aspartame, it contains an acidic carboxylic acid functional group but it tastes sweet because it can stimulate sweetness receptors by the formation of hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions with the taste “triangle”. Aspartame is used commercially as an artifical sweetener in drinks like Diet Pepsi.

The artifical sweeter potentiates the effect of the acid like wayne is saying. :smile: I agree

VG PH seemed to vary highly on searches from 6-9
PG PH varied greatly on seaches as well from 5-9

As of now I am using sour anywhere from 0.5-2% w/ no real sourness just lifting the citrus acid notes in the fruits.

I will eventually test the Ascorbic acid batches that had Ascorbic Acid around 0.25-0.5% and sour around 1-2% I did a few batches and made a couple % changes to them to see how they would react.

Interestingly it seems that each manufacturer has their own " blends" with whatever their buffering pg/vg in outside of the known chemical structure so testing your bases will provide you w/ a ph level… I have some Ph level strips but my guess would be since we open and close our bottles so often this would create more of a neutrilized PH eventually this must be the reason for the varying of levels found online.

Then I looked around some more and found that once Pg is heated it can drop in PH again varying between 4-6 Page 81 http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/build85/PDF/b85009.pdf this was a w/ heating of copper/ other metals.

For Pg Sensitive ppl like myself these additives are in VG !



Awesome and very informative post … Thank you Amy.

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Thanks as you can see I’m kinda interested in this topic too lol


I’ve only JUST started playing with sour additives, but I’ll give you my observation using Sour (TPA), which I believe is just a Malic Acid solution. I had two recipes that I started playing with. Both also have Cap Green Apple, which is sour-ish on its own. Bad Apple has the TPA Sour at .2%, and the Punch Straws has it a 2%. I wanted it really sour, lol. My comments below:

Bad Apple V0.0

Ingredient %
Grape Candy (TPA) 1
Green Apple (CAP) 3.5
Sour (TPA) 0.2
Flavor total: 4.7%

SB Sour Punch Straws V0.0

Ingredient %
Grape Candy (TPA) 2
Green Apple (CAP) 2
Sour (TPA) 2
Strawberry (Ripe) (TPA) 1
Sweet Strawberry (CAP) 4
Flavor total: 11%

I didn’t find the 2% sour recipe to that much more sour than the .2%. Even the .2% wasn’t the immediate assault on the face kind of sour we get popping Warheads onto our tongue. However, I did notice 2 things. It did make me cough quite a bit more than other recipes. Also, after vaping it a lot, I did start getting a little of that stinging sensation on the tongue, like after you’ve eaten too many warheads and your buds feel raw. It was mostly the sides of my tongue near the back, and it was very short-lived, unlike when eating the candy. In short, I’m still looking to get some really sour effects, but also acknowledge that it’s not really the same thing as sucking on the acid for 2 minutes. Really, if it’s THAT sour - do I want to inhale it into my lungs?


I don’t make sour vapes. The closest is a lemon hostess pie kinda thing. I do however put sour in almost all of my fruit vapes. The sour makes the sweat fruits pop… and the barely discernable fruits more forceful. I even use it in a coupe that have creaines to them to bring out some of the flavors

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I have never been able to find any flavoring sour enough to add the mouth puckering sourness that I have wanted. I have always wanted to create a recipe for a red sourpatch kid, however, like others before me have said, the sour flavorings enhance the fruit flavors and make them pop, or stand out more, but never have I ever been able to get the level of sourness that a recipe such as this would require. I would love to know how to achieve this and I will definitely be following this thread!


What’s the sour flavour like on its own, anyone tongue tested a drop?

I just did. Tastes kinda like lemon juice from a bottle.

ETA: I have tpa sour which is 20% malic acid

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So it’s not a “real” sour flavour? It’s just a mimic?

Well, I mean it’s sour, but not extremely sour. And now I wish I would have finger tested it before using it my recipes. I’ve been using it in an attempt to make a white grapefruit juice recipe and I’ve used it all the way up to 2% with a plan to try it at 4% just for shits and giggles, but with that lemony flavor I’m not sure it’s going to work.

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