Harsh Vape DIY

Hi all,

I’m new to DIY and experiencing some problems whilst testing my DIY eliquid. I’m getting a harsh Vape from my liquids, it’s not only a throat hit it’s also leaving my mouth dry and making my tongue tingle, which is a little alarming! I’ve read a fair few topics very similar to this and have tried a number of different “fixes” with no prevail.

I’m trying to mix at 6mg strength off of a 72mg (7.2%) nicotine. I originally bought the Nic in PG but after experiencing issues I also bought Nic in VG to see if that made a difference. It didn’t! I am buying from a reputable supplier here in the UK, but to make certain it wasn’t the quality of the Nic I also bought another PG based Nic from another supplier… Still the same problem. My flavours are all from either Capella, TPA/TFA or Flavour West.

While mixing a 10ml bottle at 70VG/30PG here are my numbers:
Nic: 0.83ml PG: 1.17ml VG: 7ml total base: 9ml Flavours combined: 1ml

I use syringes while mixing to get an accurate amount of material needed. If I try to shake and vape, it’s a no no, if I leave it a few days, the juice still hates me and if I leave the juice in a dark box for like 2 weeks, I put it in my tank and it flicks me the finger but not as harsh as the before! Set up wise, I’m using a KangerTech Subtank mini on an Eleaf iStick 30w using a 0.5ohm coil running between 20-25w.

Not sure whats going wrong here. I am “rolling” my nicotine before use and all of my DIY stuff is decanted into amber glass bottles and stored in a cool dark place.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks!

Right off the bat if your attempting to narrow down an issue, I would take one step at a time and separate your possible problem. With the exception of the nic, try vaping your VG without nic or pg just pure vg and see what it’s like. then either do the same with the pg or do a 50/50 pg/vg blend. Lastly do a no flavor blend with your nic and vg. That way your ruling out possible problems with all your bases.


I’m a UK DIY’er and use similar flavourings.

Your reputable NIC provider is who?

I use UKFLAVOURS.com and it’s great NIC.

Where are you getting your VG and PG from?

I can highly recommend CLASSIKOOL VG/PG there NIC though leaves a lot to be desired.

As @CallMeTut has pointed out elimination is the key here.

Also depending upon which flavours from which companies at what percentages could be giving you a harsh Vape.

For example some flavourings only require 2-3% in a mix.

Others can require 15%

A little more info may help some more while you try to eliminate the culprit.



I’d have to agee w/ @CallMeTut divide and conquer bc it seems as thou you’ve went about it correctly. Now certain flavors are more potent than others. Some have alcohol in them which can certainly make them more harsh and need heat and open to air ( OTA) time once mixed. See if it is your base ( PG/VG) then blend like tut says a no flavor w/ nic. I have seen Many ppl come back and say it was their PG.

If you are just coming off of retail juices there is a bit of a learning curve with DIY juice it is some what drier and can seem lacking in the consistency of mouth feel , there are tricks for that when you get there. Do a few 5 ml test run and you may have to come down on wattage with your DIYs until you get your batch right. ( 1 ml of flavors it typically alright ) but depending on what those flavors are makes a huge impact. Make sure your following the suggested ratios per vendor this can make a harsh vape quickly. and keep us up to date if the base was an issue. Good luck


I suspect the nic liquid. There are two things that come to mind.

Are you shaking your nic liquid before using? Nic can separate from its carrier over time. I always shake my nic base vigorously for a few seconds before use.

Are you sure the nic is 72 mg/ml? I know you said you bought from 2 different sources so I’m thinking it probably is, but stranger things have happened.

Lastly, perhaps 6 mg is too strong for you. I used to mix at that strength but have since become more sensitive to nicotine. Also, before when I used that strength I was using things like the Nautilus tank. Before going off the rails about it perhaps you should try mixing a lighter nic level…say 3mg. If that fixes the problem it could just be sensitivity.


That was my immediate thought, but then he said he was shaking his nic/base. Then I had thought 6 mg at that wattage and being new to diy juice is probably too much. I can vape 6 mg or drip it but the wrong flavors whew it can still get me. I have to drop it down to 3mg myself.

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Generally when people speak of harshness the first thing we all think of is the nic vendor. Just because a vendor is reputable doesn’t mean that their nicotine won’t be peppery and harsh. Wizard Labs for instance is a very reputable company but their nic is indeed peppery and harsh. Thing is, many people enjoy nic that is peppery. Is this your problem? Maybe, mix up the same recipe without nicotine. Does this solve the problem?

Second thing we usually look at when someone speaks of harshness, PG. Being you are using only 10% flavor and also using a subohm tank, you can eliminate all but 10% of the PG in your recipe if you use your VG based Nic. You can try this…

Third thing to look at, and you made no mention of this, what flavors you are using. I’m sorry to say but some flavors just are not that great when you use them in a subohm application. Citrus, cinnamon, menthol, koolada, and others may not agree with some people when subohming…

Last, equipment and use.

Do you think you could describe this as a sorta like sunburn of the tongue? Possibly even feeling tiny enlarged bumps on the tongue as well? This did indeed happened to me. In my case it was the vapor was too hot and literally burning my tongue and mouth. Once your throat is burnt, every hit will seem harsh. I changed equipment from Aspire to Kanger in my case.You may have to turn down the wattage or go with Temp control if the vapor is too hot for you…

Also still possible citrus acid can burn the tongue…

Hope this can help you a bit to figure out your problem, I’m hoping so! Good luck…


An awesome and thorough response.

/tips hat


Hi All,

Thanks for shedding your thoughts on this. I have tried the process of elimination using a 2ml mix on all.

Notes are,

Pure VG (2ml) - Fine
VG&PG 50/50 (1ml of each) - Fine
VG,PG&Nic 50/50 (1ml PG, 0.83 VG, 0.17VG Nic) - harsh.

Method, was simply measuer out using syringes into a plastic measuring beaker and mix with a milk frother for 2 mins. Poor into the sub tank mini, allow to stand for a few mins and then test it.

The nicotine was a fresh/unopened bottle of 7.2% VG Nicotine from Vampire Vapes. I shaked the living shit out of it before even opening the bottle to ensure the nicotine and base mix weren’t seperated. Obviously the nicotine is the issue but as this has happened with nicotine from Vampire Vapes, Vapable and another supplier (can’t remember the name) I’m wondering whats going wrong? When I buy 6mg pre made, Lets say from Zeus Juice, I have no issues what so ever with it being harsh. So I don’t think that 6mg is too strong for me.

Any further suggestions?

Many thanks!

You could simply be unlucky and use vendors with harsh nic… Try with a small bottle from Nude Nicotine, VapersTek or Carolina Extract (or other whose nic is reputably good). I don’t have experience with any of them, as I am in Europe…

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Thanks bud, I will have to try a few different vendors!

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I also have a questions, so I’m adding my two cents.
I’m by no means experienced at mixing, but what jumps out at me is 6 milligrams nicotine vape. That’s quite high. I’m vaping 1.5 mg and it’s just about as pepper-y as I can stand. I got my nic from MyFreedomSmokes.com. How is their nicotine compared to other vendors? I’ve been thinking I wanted to ask you guys where else I could get some nic that wasn’t as peppery. I’ll mix it 50/50 with what I’ve got until it’s used up. Thanks. Joya

I use there nic and I dont think it’s peppery.

Nude nic will send you a 15ml sample for $2. Personally, I’d recommend Heartland or MFS. I’ve used both and they’re both very good.


Always clean and smooth…

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Try this company Heartland Vapes. Good nic and very good prices…


This nic is not peppery and harsh and the price is the bomb…


i had the same problem, not only with my DIY liquids but also with retail liquids. @ringling gave me great advice and ive successfully mixed my first batch that I could vape and I did not have to let it steep.

also on the resource page under “tricks and tips” it mentions to add a drop or two of normal saline ash to your liquids. doing that has made a big difference in my liquids. it helps with the harsh, dryness. add a drop at a time, testing between, its easy to get a salty taste.


What is normal saline ash?

I believe that might be a typo missing a “w” and was suppose to be “wash” not “ash”.

ok. That makes sense.