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Mixing techniques

#1

Stumbled (again, but this time i read it till the end…) on the FA UK mixing technique page:

https://www.flavourart.co.uk/recipes.html#Mix

We all got our own mixing methods, mine basically is get your flavours mix all the PG based ingredients, PG/Nic/Flavs, shake, add VG at the end shake again, quick test, take notes for any additions I might have to do next time and put it away to steep, fairly straight forward.

Now (but it’s not the first time and I’ve seen this before) looking at the way FA UK does it, what they say is, to keep it short, create a stone and once steeped, add it to your PG/VG mix, shake and vape…

Need your opinion on this, I’m not a professional, they are and they know what they’re doing,but this just clashes with my beliefs and knowledge…

  1. Creating a stone? That I understand.
  2. Steep it first, that I understand (not completely but I could…if forced to)
  3. Mix it with your base at 5% I understand it if I look at it as a stone, but due to my limited brain cells count, we’re introducing a variable and not an easy one to cope with… everything @5%??
  4. Mix it with your base and S&V that, definitely I don’t understand. please help!

1 - Not even an issue, we all know what creating a stone means.

2 - Steeping a mix, practically creating your own flavour (aka… One Shot) and let the compounds mix together.

3 - +/- 5% and suite to taste… here we go and introducing a variable, we’re assuming that the percentages we used in the first place were correct and didn’t need any change, thing that I do very often, last time I did it using MOB Sweet Liquorice on a lozenge recipe I made, had to double the quantities the mix was unbalanced, back to the drawing board… increasing the hypothetical 5% wouldn’t have helped.
Of course I did SFT…… Always one, isn’t there? cit. Monty Python…

4 - S&V this is a tough one to digest… (tbh they do an exemption for custards and they point out it’s a personal choice) but I always thought that once the flavours are mixed with your base they have to blend and steep… me thick… and what about taking into account the VG/PG ratio, an 80/20 is not a 50/50 or 60/40… different tastes, different steeping times, different thickness… increase the 5%?
But if we think that the flavours are already steeped we could use the mag stirrer (or whatever) and blend the flavs with the base (but also loose some volatiles in the process) and then S&V, they didn’t say that, but I think it’s the only way out of this…

Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love FA (Italy, UK and USA) I think they’re great manufacturers and very close to the mixing community even if most of their income doesn’t come from DIY.

This technique baffles me a bit (I’ll cope with it no probs…:rofl: ) so, what are your thoughts on this?

Would it be worth it and shorten the process?

Cheers, Frank.

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Concentrates and steeping times
#2

Interesting article. I think I’ll try this out of curiosity.

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#3

I wonder about step 2 as well. Just recently I mixed up two recipes of 200 ml with no nicotine. They’ll sit for some time til I get around to them. My idea is just to see if there’s any difference between this and just mixing everything together.

It’s been my belief “steeping” doesn’t begin unless everything, especially the nic, is together. However, I also understand that what we do is far from a science. I’ll be interested in the replies to your post.

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#4

Well, we can think that there are some exceptions, I think that, e.g. a strawberry cream/custard whatever mix, would benefit from a two phases steep.
The most volatile flavours or the ones with shorter steep can actually be added later (after the first week, as an example…) so we don’t loose them and let them steep/blend till the end date.

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#5

I have my stones and sometimes they are mixed (steeped?) for months before I mix them in base liquids. It does help with the steeping process but I find your final juice still needs a while to fully mature.
Best is that you use a mixture of both if you want to speed up your mixing to vaping time.

I don’t use heat with my steeping though, it could very well be that applying some heat and/or a frother will remove most of the post-mix steeping.
I don’t really see the need for additional steeping if you decide to add nic at the end of the process.

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#6

Neither do I, I used to, but it wasn’t worth it and at the end went against it completely.
Heat from my point of view can ruin your mix and mixing at high speeds could loose all the volatiles before they blend… no good! Lesson learnt…

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#7

I’m not trying to put your post in question but out of curiosity, do you have experience with this and if so, care to say which flavors/brands you tried?
I read in one of these threads, I believe it was from RF, that companies mix up concentrates and sell them as combined flavors, i.e. a stones. For example a stawberry and a toast would become strawberries on toast.
If it’s true what you say, that stone would lose its strawberry flavor over time and so far, it doesn’t seem to happen to the concentrate bottle I have. I only have that bottle for about 6 months now so it could obviously still happen…

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#8

Talking about that… I’ve recently noticed a huge difference in my ADV juice using (unintended) heat while steeping. It consists of Vanilla Shisha, RY4 Double and Red Burley. Usually when I steep it as normal it’s mainly a creamy, sweet tobacco. The Red Burley is just there to push the tobacco flavor a bit but not be too prominent. Normal steeping for me is just putting the bottles in a cupboard at room temperature.

A couple days ago I noticed I still had a bottle in my car as a spare. It was about 2 months old, so nothing extreme. Lately temperatures have gone up and it’s been sunny so inside the car it got pretty warm (just not extremely hot). The nic is still good but the result is that most of the vanilla cream is gone, there’s still a bit of RY4 sweetness but the Red Burley has started to overpower everything. It’s still very vapable but a totally different juice from what I’m used to.

Heat definitely makes a big difference to the end result, it doesn’t just speed up the process.

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#9

IMHO the author is only trying to address two issues. One, giving the flavors time to blend (obviously pre-carrier and nic) and two adjusting the overall strength of the blended flavoring. The author is using the postulate that the relative strengths of the individual flavors are established. I don’t see where much more of the overall mixing process is addressed.

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#10

Don’t worry we always talk to each other and share our experiences.
You are absolutely right, and of course I care.
From my point of view let’s take Fuji FA as an example, it takes some steep so no point of a two phase steep, INW shisha strawberry doesn’t fade, FA juicy lemon or TFA ripe strawberry after a month (in a mix, not right out of the bottle…) they fade, so you’re right and, as usual, got to the weak point of what I said.
Unfortunately need some experience and knowledge on how different brands and different flavours react to steeping, how much of the compound is volatile and can’t use a rule of thumb, just experience, it’s not a particular brand but how the compound itself is made.
I think that things change even more if the flavours are naturally extracted and that’s probably another point of view, do the volatiles bond to the mix? (mixing science fiction??) but didn’t look further into it… we are always learning and improving!

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#11

Being a mix of both it’s what probably confused me…

  1. Create a One Shot, rather then a stone and steep it:
    “When you have made your first sample of blended concentrates, allow it to steep (blend) for a while… 3-5 days for Sweet/Fruit blends and 10-15 days for Tobacco/Complex blends”

  2. Addressing the final strength of the new mix, the 5% bit…
    “We all know how personal tastes and flavour strength preference can vary widely”
    Still don’t believe it… if it’s not right from the start… no chance you’re going to change it by increasing or decreasing a 5%.

But then he went:
"Some mixologists steep after they have added the flavours to the eliquid; it’s a matter of choice, but I
usually mix, shake, and vape, as the steeping has been done with the concentrated blend!
And I thought, good idea! And then I thought… is it??

At that point I started overthinking, got confused and thought:
Let’s ask the family!

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#12

Is there a difference?

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#13

Great post and I’m interested too to see what other opinions there are. It puts on emphasis on just how important is the blending of the flavors with the carrier(s) and nic. Per the article the emphasis is relitively low. I haven’t come up with any hard and fast rules myself. This is an approach I haven’t tried, so why not? In small batches it might cost me a whole buck. I can do that.

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#14

Subtle really but there is , the concept is the same the end use is different.

A Stone is a mix of flavours prepared as if it was a single flavour and used as such, a layer of strawberries, milk chocolate, custard mix that gets added to a recipe, but used as a flavour.

A One Shot is a concentrated recipe (flavours already mixed) ready to be to added at a certain amount of a base of NIC/VG and/or some PG if needed ready to be used as an e-liquid rather then a flavour… This way manufacturer don’t even bother anymore about Nic issues, VG/PG handling and USPH related responsibilities and costs…

But you already know all this… why ask? :thinking:

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#15

The concept that no steep time is needed if you let the One Shot you’ve created steep for 15 days, undiluted, feels very wrong. I say “feels” because i haven’t done an actual test yet, but…

This would mean the Strawberry Jam on Toast RFSC, technically a One Shot, would be ready to vape as a SnV with no additional steep time. This is definitely not the case. It’s not even fully developed with a 2 week steep, but I’ve had that concentrate for a few months, and it sat in a holding cell for much longer than that before i bought it.

Steeping a blend of concentrates may well help the flavor molecules bind to form their final flavor identity, but we steep to let the concentrate blend into the base, primarily the VG. During that time, the molecules have all the time they need to bind and form new structures.

Edit: all of this reply should be taken with the understanding that this is how i feel about it, how i have come to understand it. I’m not a chemist, obviously!

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#16

Because I do not know everything :blush:

I’m not that great with all these little nuances, I always considered it to be the same thing. Something they sell as a one-shot in a shop, may be a stone for someone else if I understand you correctly. So why make the distinction? To me it’s always been just a combination of concentrates that is used to create or enhance an e-liquid in a more rapid way than working with separate concentrates, allowing the concentrates to already do their chemistry before you mix it up.
Oh well… if it matters to you, I’ll try to use the right words in the future :wink:

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#17

In regards to steeping they are totally the same. It could be confusing if we were discussing recipe creation techniques. But, I think most of us would understand what someone meant if they said they were creating a Strawberry-Peach-Peanut Butter-Cheesecake “Stone.” Even though it’s technically a “One Shot,” not having much room to add anything without junking up the recipe.

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#18

Some interesting points of view here. Thanks for that.

After my post I pulled out a jar of my favorite juice of all. I mixed it on April 13, which makes it exactly a month old. I didn’t put the nic in when mixed. So, I added my usual amount of nic, vaped it and it tasted the same as always…awesome. So, it seems to me the nic isn’t needed for it to steep. Now this particular juice is good to go after a week, so who knows. I have a custard mixed on the same day without nic that usually takes a month, so I’ll try it in the next day or two and see how it is.

We really need a professional chemist who loves DIY and knows how to measure this stuff.

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#19

This just sounds ridiculous to me. I’ll have to do an a/b test on something I’m familiar with. Sounding ridiculous and being ridiculous are two different things, but that just doesn’t sit right.

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#20

Many mixers or better companies does not calculate with perc at the finish e-liquid but perc. to the finish flavour.
Example for 10ml finish eliquid:
8ml VG
1% Bavarian Cream = 1ml
1% Strawberry = 1ml

Example for finish flavour:
50% Bavarian Cream
50% Strawberry

When you mix with the second example (finish flavour) you don’t really now how much flavour you gonna need. 5% many times is not that much not that low.

Hard to tell my opinion because I don’t speak good english, sorry. I will try as far as I can. Think of it like you say blend and steep, flavours to blend (FA and many perfurmere makers they call it steep) with each other needs time to make new strong bonds between their molecules, some times need 1-2 days some times 2 weeks.

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