I’m curious to know what experiences you’ve all had with respect to new-coil break-in time, particularly as it pertains to materials supporting temp control/replay.
I ask because I’ve found, at least for me that new or newly-cleaned stainless coils seem to have an extended “break-in” time as compared to Titanium and Nickel. I have essentially given up on Nickel entirely because of the extreme conductivity and general difficulty in working with anything but tempered materials. At this point, my stock primarily consists of Kanthal, SS 316 and Titanium.
I’ve found that it takes sometimes as long as a day before brand new or recently cleaned 316 coils taste right to me, but I do NOT have the same experience with Titanium. When I say break-in I mean that period of time where the kind-of burnt or metallic taste negatively affects the flavor of your favorite e-liquid. In my experience the combination coils don’t appear to suffer the same issue, so if I wrap my favorite clapton for TC, 40-gauge Kanthal A1 over 24-gauge 316 it doesn’t taste perfect right off the bat, but not near as nasty as with bare stainless and usually clears up within an hour or so. Overall, I find creating combination wires tiresome though, so at this point my go-to for TC/Replay is Ti 1, and I seem to get more consistent control over it than with 316 although it is a bit harder to work with given it’s springy nature and stiffness.
Anyone experience different results or break-in times? It does seem to change a bit with different e-liquids, but in general, just wondering what others are running into.
For me it’s 22 gauge Titanium wire… I’m usually good to go after a half tank, and it’s the most accurate, cleanest tasting and leave no metallic taste to liquid. It performs the best in TC and (Replay mode DNA250C Only) then any wire type I’ve tried… and I’ve tried everything but mesh.
Most vapers that haven’t tried Ti really don’t notice metal taste as it is something they don’t realize until you use a wire that don’t have any metallic taste at all. I tried going back to SS wire after I tried Ti, but it was no go for me.
This might sound like a stupid question, but believe it or not whenever I’ve seen this question posted I always get answers to the negative.
Do you clean your wire before building your coils? Any off taste I’ve gotten from wire, be it kanthal, 316L stainless or titanium has been because I didn’t take the time to give the wire I good wiping with a paper towel and isopropyl alcohol to remove the drawing lube beforehand. I’ve gotten wire from Chinese and American vendors, in various gauges and materials and every single one benefits from a good cleaning. Stainless is typically the least dirty, but there’s always a little schmutz leftover from the drawing process.
As to dryburning/cleaned coils, I don’t reuse coils. I’ve found that the flavor gets really muted after I’ve cleaned a coil, so I opt to do a complete teardown and rebuild my atomizers. Granted, I mostly use simple round wire, but even the times I’ve tried to clean twisted or staple coils the flavor just seems more bland than that of a fresh build.
What I have however observed is that rayon/viscose tastes more nasty during the break-in period than cotton does, but that is the break-in of the wicks and not the actual coils.
As for the actual metal coil, then I have never tasted any break-in period regardless of the material, or if I have, then it has been overpowered and masked by the break-in of the wicks. After all you always change wicks when changing or cleaning the coil, so it is conceivable any off-taste on the metal would be masked by the off-taste from the wicks.
In my experience Ni80 is the cleanest tasting and easiest to dry burn and clean. All others have a break in period or unpleasent taste to me. I’ve heard of other vapers saying that they taste cotton, and I beleive them. I don’t taste cotton at all…it is always the coil.
I follow the same process every time
-drip on to coil and fire x3
-soak cotton or rayon with juice and let it sit 5 to 10 minutes
Never have an off taste with either of those metals, but I do with kanthal and SS. It’s just my taste perception along with those that can taste new cotton. I don’t believe there is a right answer. Or a wrong one.
One thing I noticed that’s not mentioned here is coil longevity. I think I mentioned before that of the six Boreas’ I run, I changed 3 coils last year and I’m on track this year with only 2 coil changes. Of these 5 coil changes 3 were do to my error of brushing the coil after a dry burn before it cooled.
When cleaning 22g Ti coils, you can dry burn them, (“but just to a faint glow”)… because excessive firing and glow will result in a coil break. Once cooled, just brush away the residue and rinse with water… quick pulses until they no longer smoke… wick and enjoy until next cleaning.
I’ve used this method dozens of times per coil without any problems.
I use both SS and Ti…80% vs 20%. I have never noticed any break-in periods with either material although there is a notable difference in terms of flavor definition for me. Ti gives a little more ‘vibrancy’ to my juice, which may or may not be attributed to it’s quicker ramp up times. I prefer using SS though only because there’s no need to fuss with it. With Ti I have to swab it clean then go stand in a dark bathroom just so I can see that faint glow while pulsing.
Conversely, there could very well be a break-in but I’ve just never noticed because my Muji cotton’s break-in period overrides everything…in the world.
That’s very surprising to me. I had considered whether or not it could be subject to the same subjectivity that taste in general was, but I assumed that even if so it would not be a complete absence of alteration but perhaps just different perception of it. Are you saying that you do get a metallic taste from 316L when using salts? I’ve not heard that mentioned before, and I’ve not worked with them before so I cannot comment one way or the other, but that would be interesting information too.
I hadn’t considered this, but I guess that could be a possibility as well. I am interested in hearing about your experience after trying the Ti 1 @eStorm.
I always clean my new stock with acetone as soon as the shipment arrives, and dry-burn after coiling and mounting prior to threading with cotton, so I assume they are about as clean as they can be by the time they are juiced…
With ss316l or Ni80 I have no breakin time and I always prime my wicks so no breakin time with them either. I also only mix with salts and notice no difference than when I was vaping commercial freebase juices. I believe we are all just more sensitive to different things than others. We humans have been known to be a quirky bunch.
As soon as taste is involved there is no such thing as an objective answer, not even when it comes to something like a metallic off-taste.
But I also think that we shouldn’t underestimate the placebo effect. As with so many other things, we are just as much tasting with our our mind as we are with our physical senses, and the mind is a powerful thing. If we expect that we will well get some off-taste from certain materials then we are also much more likely to actually taste it compared to if we expect no off-taste.
I mean just look at the experiments done with wine tasting. The same wine served in two different bottles gets wildly different critique, white wine with a bit of red food dye passes as a red wine without anyone suspecting anything, and even the lighting in the room makes a great difference to how people perceive the wine.
The only way to bypass our expectations and get something close to an objective answer, is to do some blind tasting experiments.
How very true. The human body is such a sensitive bio-chemical machine that it amazes me any two of us on the planet have similar tastes and reactions to anything. Being in the pharmaceutical industry I should probably just assume that from the get-go, but it still amazes me to hear what others perceive in relation to each other, which I guess is why I tend to start threads like this in the first place. Thanks for sharing @IzNoGoat!
Another thing I would be interesting in hearing about is the cotton break-in. I’ve tried various cottons from generic cosmetic cotton balls in the early days before they made vape-specific cotton to many vape-ready cottons and I’ve never tasted any difference in flavor from any I’ve tried, just seems to follow the coil material for me.