DIY Flavor strength vs commercial juices

Hello community. After more than 30 recipes done, steeped and tested, I still have the same question unanswered. The recipes I try tastes really good and I love many of them, BUT… why the flavor strength is so weak? Im always comparing my DIY ones with shop ones and the conclusion is always the same, with DIY I can not get strong flavor. No matter if total flavor is 10% or 25%, they are always weak.

I made an experiment. I diluted Marina Vape LUX at 20%. After a month of steeping, it is still A LOT stronger than any DIY I have made. Man, how is this possible?

Another experiment. I compared META Golden Ticket original with most of the remixes I found here. All of them tastes good and I love them. But the flavor strength is not enough!

No matter what I do, I can go from 10% to 20% in total flavor, I can increase the PG%… nothing gets me the strong flavor Im used to. No matter if it steeps 3 days or 2 months… they are always the same dull juice.

The only thing that I think I may not be doing correctly is the vigorous daily shake. When you have 25 bottles of juice in your locker… shaking all of them daily sounds like a lot of work :slight_smile: So I don’t shake them too much. Maybe twice/week.

If anyone wonders, I don’t open the bottles, I don’t boil them, they are in a dark place, no light, no heat, no ethyl maltol.

So… what’s wrong here?

Thanks people for the huge efforts on making this awesome site possible. Cheers!

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IMO sometimes commercial juice has stronger flavor because of Sweeteners other times because they use a top note (like lemon) that makes them pop up, even if you don’t notice it. But I am not an expert.

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First im thinking what base do you use pg vg nic base?
Then what flavor…
The first time i whent diy, i bought vg pg and nic that where making my mix tasteless whit an after taste of hard to describe,got me off diy fast
On my second try got completely different results using a different nic and pg/vg provider

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I already tried different providers. No noticeable differences. I have used vap fip (spanish brand and eBas)
Flavors, I just mix what I find here and make variants of those that I like most. Capella, tpa, flavour art… First version usually without nicotine.

Thanks

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Yes, I also use sweetener. As I said, I am mixing recipes found here. But what Im talking about is about general strength, not only sweetness.
This one for example, tastes fantastic, but weak

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I’ve been posting similar experiences but found inconsistency within the same “brand” and supplier of VG. Yet without tons of lab equipment and training which I do not have, this would be very hard to prove. But nonetheless there are ways people can do this for themselves with some basic equipment.

DavidMiranda states that he is in essence following the “rules”:

While these are so multifaceted it would be again nearly impossible to prove or disprove on any basis not involving specific and demonstrable testing/scientific proofs with equipment I doubt any of us have.

So I’ll go out on a limb and say the following. We are not “steeping” anything and while this term has stuck what we are attempting to achieve is a homogeneous mix with flavorings suspended in a solution which is more stable than the volatiles the flavorings consist of.

After trying different brands of PG/VG I began homogenizing my PG VG mix under heat and agitation. The results are remarkable.

Edit for clarity. This is done entirely separate from all else. No flavorings- no nic- and no oxidation of anything.

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Agreed i do the same and have found a good difference!

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If they were plastic bottles, you could put them all together in a shoe-box and shake the whole box for a minute.

I am not an expert here. But I just wanna brainstorm with you here. So not all great ideas or things you haven’t tried yet, but I’ll let you think about them.
I know you said u made some versions without nicotine, but I suggest you try that one more time. Make 2 versions of one highly rated recipe. Maybe 15 or 20 ml. One with nicotine, and one without. Try them both as a Shake N Vape, and then try them after one week steeping. U then will know for sure if your nicotine is causing to mute your recipes or not. If they taste similar, then you could exclude the nicotine as the cause and start looking at the VG, PG, or flavors. Maybe different brands you tried were not good. In my opinion, the best thing to do is exclude one item at a time.

You could also make sure that u shake every bottle before you start mixing. That is PG, VG, flavors, and nicotine. maybe it will not help, but u might as well try every possible issue.

keep us updated.

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Yes they are very expensive. But that is the "high’ shear devices used universally in production environments. Slamming molecules together at 35 K RPM sure is intriguing. Its the science behind mixing that interests me and the OP asked questions about the difference between commercial and DIY. In another recent post questions were raised about an answer given by a FlavourArt rep when he advised “high shear” mixing and “time.” High shear mixing and a high shear homogenizer are literally the same things. The entire processes and high shear devices are fully detailed at this link: http://www.silverson.com There are videos and a wealth of good information.

I use mag stirrers and also an overhead stirrer. The same homogenization can be achieved by “low shear” stirrers in many cases though much slower. I use mag stirrers and an overhead stirrer which IMO produces a much better result and is useful for large quantities.

There is a vast difference between the way we do things and the way pros do, from the lab to high scale production.

I homogenize VG by itself or my VG PG mix at +60 C.

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never had problems like that… but flavor strength is a matter of many factors…

  1. “i can go from 10% to 20% flavor”, keep in mind that Overflavoring also can have the same effect as underflavoring (less flavor output)
  2. check the quality of ingredients! bad quality ingredients (VG/NIc/PG/flavors) can have effect in flavor strength
  3. steeping is also important though as far i see, 1 months is enough to steep as you describe anyway… but it’s a serious factor anyway
  4. hardware, coil build, setup is also important if you seek flavor
  5. clean tank is also a factor… no matter what EVERY single juice leaves garbage inside the tank even if you can’t see it with your eyes… that garbage can have effect in flavors, so a clean tank, wicks etc are of great importance…

but let me ask you:
have you tried any top rated recipes or just recipes you found interesting? i don’t mean that non rated recipes are bad BUT the top rated ones can guarantee that they work well for the people tried them :slight_smile:
are you sure about the quality of ingredients you’re using?
are you sure that your storage is good for all this stuff? (away from heat sources and sunlight)
you also haven’t mentioned anything about your hardware/gear/setup/coil builds or whatever…

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@DavidMiranda

As has been mentioned, commercial juice often contains copious amounts of sweeteners. Like salt on potatoes, sweetener in our juice can make flavor seem stronger and, well, just better sometimes. However, I will offer some points…

  • Ethyl Maltol - can be very bad at muting flavor! This generally doesn’t occur though until after about a month after mix.

  • Vendors - although I’ve never found any US rebottler of flavors to “water down” flavors, still the potential is there. If it’s possible to grab a few flavors direct from the manufacturer, that’s one thing you can eliminate.

  • Age of flavors can also greatly impact potency. As well as how they’ve been stored since being produced. If they’ve been subject to a lot of exposure to daylight (fluorescent light too IMO) or heat, chances are the flavors could be degraded.

Last point. If you’re comparing mostly clone recipes to vendor juice, the likelihood the recipe is exactly as made by the manufacture is slim to none. Clones are, at best, an educated guess in most cases. So comparison may be good when you’re trying to clone something, but unless you know what the actual ingredients are and their respective percentages in the recipe, you’re simply chasing smoke and dust.

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Do you think a handheld liquid mixer such as this one be helpful at all? https://www.amazon.com/Nestpark-Portable-Frother-Handheld-Electric/dp/B018MOUJQA/ref=sr_1_7?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1513442891&sr=1-7&keywords=Electric+Liquid+Mixer

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Always clean hardware and new cotton. Hardware is not the problem.

Only top rated

Not really. I know that Im buying rebottled ones. And who knows how was that process made, how old is the content and how was it stored… Having in mind that I buy in spain, I tend to think resellers add water to the ingredients xD

Yep, already noticed that. Im not using it anymore.

Yeah, who knows if my source is making things correctly…

Absolutely. Im totally fine with approximated remixes. I just want that exact same flavor to be stronger! I like many many of the recipes I have done, I just want them more tasty.

I learn from DIYORDIE, but he does not use any machine… so I have not been thinking in that.
What sounds really interesting is this rotatory wheel

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.

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No, I don’t. There are gases (volatiles) that need to escape and others that need to be suspended in a homogeneous solution. I do everything in sealed containers and vent gases according to what I’m using. Largely this depends on whether I am mixing something with an alcohol base, but not entirely. The short answer is that using the shake method is far better than using any thing like a frother. It can be akin to letting a mix ‘vent’ for a week or two or leaving a flavor bottle open.

The volatiles are what you taste and smell.

I have used a small Badger paint mixer for very small quantities but it is designed to not froth a mix. Ever try to paint something with b air bubbles in the paint? Bad idea. While I have used one, I’m in the process of adapting the stirrer shaft into a sealed lid.

It I think would be impossible to not inject some air with either a conventional stirrer or a hand held lab stirrer aka homogenizer. However, the links provided show how air is eliminated or kept to a minimum with the various mixing heads shown.

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I encourage you to branch out. DoD may be a good place to start for the absolute beginner, but in reality you’re better off learning from the diversity of experience and knowledge here than from any single person.

Biting my tongue super hard right now!!

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WW made a new version of that with Molinberry Glamour Chocolate.

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Although I have been using this site since January of this year, I still really consider myself a “newbie”. So my short reply compared to all of these complicated replies by veteran DIYers due to their experience (I bow down to you all lol) may seem adolescent. While adjusting flavor %'s and such to your recipes as others have suggested may indeed help, perhaps it could be the equipment you use to vape your juices.

I currently use a SMOK Color Pro mod with a V8 Baby - T6 coil. I have found that vaping with a V8 Baby - X4 coil really makes a difference in sweetness for sure. In fact, using the X4 coil actually makes my juice (any juice from store bought to my own DIY) horribly SWEET. Almost as if I am vaping syrup. I have tried all the coils in SMOK’s V8 series, and found that either the T6 or V8 balances the flavor of my DIY’s and store bought juices.

I hope you find your solution and will not be a hard fix. I too have come across this similar issue and was able to find my balance simply by just changing my coil.

Happy Holidays

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I’m commenting mostly just to be able to follow this thread easier. I’m befuddled. I’m more of a burger flipper than a world class mixing artist, lol but I have never experienced this problem. My mixes fall mid way of what I have purchased commercially regarding strength of flavor. I’ve not vaped any of the exampled juices so I have no reference. I will say this, a friend who tries everything commercial has given me a number of juices that went down the drain as they were just too pungent for me to be able to vape. That’s all I can think of to relate. Regardless, it is an interesting thread. Don’t mind me but I’ll just be peeking over shoulders.

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The “homogenizing” factor was one of my primary reasons for deciding to use my old OroGem ultrasonic way back when.

It never rises above 115-120F (so nicotine isn’t negatively affected) with the heat on, even after a couple hours of operation with the US waves engaged. The ultrasonic waves pass through the glass bottles without issue, and it does a spectacular job of getting things blended at a core level IMO.

I’ve been trying the “no heat” method over the last 3-4 months just to give the “opposing view” a fair shake. But honestly, I haven’t seen any benefit to the “no heat” side. Whereas there is a noticeable advantage to the results from using the USC with heat.

Others obviously disagree, but again, whatever works for the individual doing it! =)

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Well yeah. There are tons of ultrasonic homogenizers on the market and my understanding is that they work the same way as the US cleaner does. Only they are massively higher powered and emit a high frequency noise that I wouldn’t want to deal with. They need to be in a sound chamber and like the high shear devices are way more expensive than I could personally justify to cut a couple of weeks off the time it takes for ejuice to be ready to vape. But the principles of particle reduction are the same as far as I can tell.

Quite awhile back I did a simple search for “homogenize vegetable glycerin” and it took me to CAT Scientific. I’ve posted a link before but not on this thread: http://www.catscientific.com CAT Scientific | Revolutionizing Cannabis Post-Processing Equipment. So obviously they are marketing to cannabis and ejuice persons. A video has been linked to :

https://youtu.be/fthoILGL664

This video demonstrates that VG will not homogenize at below 140 F. But I don’t think that that applies to ultrasonic. For the reasons mentioned I tried it and will never go back any other way even if there were no inconsistencies in the VG I buy. But there is.

The subject of heat mystifies me as to how people think its harmful to flavoring developed for cooking. But I Stir VG for at least an hour, cool down, and generally mix flavors at 120 F or below. I’ve done side by side testing with everything I’ve tried. So wherever the idea that food flavorings are damaged by heat in this range simply doesn’t make sense. I pointed out that Walt (RF) even recommends 140 F in one of his posts.

So obviously people can do whatever they like, but I think you know that I have questioned this repeatedly and not a single person has offered a shred of proof to substantiate these claims about heat. I got to the point where I just said its “contentious” and said I didn’t want to go there. I won’t argue with anyone here. It’s not what I’m here for and I said awhile back I am just trying to give back to the community.

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