So I have finally found time for flavor testing after moving out and getting set up.
I am wondering though, everyone is a firm believer in note taking and as such I want to as well, however I don’t know exactly what I am supposed to write down except for the obvious few.
I would rather take too many notes, than too few, however what type of notes should I be taking and do you have any other advice for testing single flavors? So throw in your opinions on what is important to note when testing your stash/flavor profile.
I was going to make a spreadsheet to take notes in at different intervals obviously taking into account that while testing it isn’t fully steeped yet or mixed.
Also my best friend is here to visit and we sort of started vaping at the same time, but took different paths. I am doing liquids and he is more interested in building and what not, but because of that I have had access to some different tanks and mods. RDTA and RDA plus some other “normal” tanks etc.
I was wondering what is recommended in terms of testing flavors. Like should I test with a dripper? What is your opinion on what type of device is better for chain smoking at intervals.
I know there are plenty people who swear by testing on drippers. I suppose because it is easier, however, IMO it depends on what you normally use. Drippers and tanks do produce a difference in flavour. I use tanks so I also test my juice on tanks.
I’m not a very big note taker but I suppose writing down whether a flavour fades with steeping or gets a lot stronger over time is kinda handy.
I’m sure there are some diligent note takers who will chime in
Just jot down anything that pops into your head. Some things that would be good to note are what % you mixed your sf at, amount of steep time at each testing, amount of throat hit, sweetness, tartness, creaminess, etc…
For testing I’ve used a tank up until now. I literally just started using an rda for testing a few days ago. @Josephine_van_Rijn is correct, you’ll get different flavors from a dripper than a tank. So if you don’t have tons of testers to get through and you usually use a tank for everyday vaping, I’d use that. If you’re trying to test a whole load of new stuff though, an rda is MUCH quicker and easier to swap the cotton out more frequently.
@VapeyMama and @Josephine_van_Rijn both have said basically everything one thing i do like to add is how close it taste to what it is suppose to be , or what it reminds you of example , RFSC rootbeer fountain style reminded me of a rootbeer popsicle i use to eat … id also suggest making a couple ofr few different testers at diff percents so your not taking months to test one flave …
I remember those, do you add a little oak wood flavor to make it taste like the stick? Lol
@MysticRose (amongst others) makes awesome detailed notes. If you get chance have a look at the RFSC tasting notes threads too - tons of ideas in there.
Hope the move went well
This was posted recently, and I thought it was a great idea for those who struggle with describing…
I write down the mix date, I also write down an batch age for every comment I have while testing (like: “day 5: strawberry quite dominant, cream hardly recognizable” “day 14: cream is coming through, mix now pretty good”).
Each batch I make gets a batch number so I can identify it and I write down my notes under that number.
Also, if I alter recipes they get “version numbers”, for example I name them Milk Chocolate V3 so I don’t mix up things with previous versions
Well, comments are about everything I taste, and ideas I have for the next time I pull out the mixing equipment (like “add some vanilla…”) and WHY I wanted to do that ("…to give it another layer")
Haha, I started today
2 of them, one single coil, one dual, both wicked and set up as close to my favourite setups in the tanks as I could get, so I get at least a somewhat similar taste…
Thanks for all the replies, I thought there would be like a checklist of things to note and then a comment section at the end or something, but yeah I can definitely do those.
If anyone has any tips for my first testing flavors/flavor profile/batch testing for real (I wasted so much before, doing it entirely wrong) I would greatly appreciate
Don’t overdose. You can always add more, but mixing something overdosed down is, what is costly.
Start simple. One flavour, then two, then three. Test those, then think about what could taste fine with that. Don’t add in more if the stuff you already have is something you don’t like. Trying to “overpaint”: again costly.
That’s what I can come up with, but I am sure there will be even better tips ^^
I firmly believe in Rda for testing and for flavor! I use tanks mainly when at work but still mainly use rda even at work lol drip and drive lol! As far as flavor notes I want to know if certain strawberries are more authentic or artificial-candy like and other fruity flavors as well. Like @fidalgo_vapes mentioned is the flavor true to the description or not. Making notes is vital and it’s something I need to be better at! I’ve gotten lazy with my notes as of late!
Good stuff ^^^. I’m to lazy to NOT use my trusted SteamCrave RDTA v.1 for testing. It would probably be a lot faster using an RDA, just to lazy to switch, AND, because I use tanks daily, it felt “off” to me, to do TESTING on ONE setup, and then daily VAPING on another. I think the trick is to find the best tasting setup, than you CAN vape every day, that way, what you taste, IS what you’ll get.
As far as notes, ^^^^^ everyone covered it pretty good. I just got done doing a massive RF SC tasting blitz and did take a lot of notes. Guess you can’t ever have too many, but keeping it simple is very good as well. I always write down my INITIAL thoughts, which often times carry all the way to the end of the test. “Love it”, “Hate it”, “WTF is this” I used quite a bit. If you taste it, write it, you can always change/add/delete later. Rarely do I have a flavor or mix that changes as I’m vaping it, usually for me, the first impression IS the lasting impression. Great example was @VapeyMama’s new McCookie, I THOUGHT I liked it as it was steeping, but after it steeped and I tried it, I knew after the FIRST vape, it was for me.
When I take notes, I try to describe what I personally taste using words and references that I will understand exactly my meaning if I refer back to my notes 6 months or a year from now. Although I am happy if others can find value in my notes (thank you @Lolly ), the important thing for me is too understand how I would like to use it.
I note strengths I like with approximate percentages for SF or mixes. But those are based on how I like to vape. I use sub ohm tanks. I test using RDA’s as it is easier to change the cotton to taste flavor nuances. But if I like the strength of a flavor at 4% during tasting, I note that my preference is 6% as I know in my tanks it needs to be a bit stronger than in the RDA for the same strength.
I use terms I will understand a year from now. For example bitter. To me bitter is that taste you get from chewing a piece of orange rind or zest. To others it may be a chemical note, or alcohol taste. Or sweetness. When I say natural sweetness in regards to a fruit, to me that means it has the same level of sweetness as if I was actually eating that fruit during it’s ripe phase. Artificial sweetness is if it is more sweet than it would be even when ripest. Or unripe is not ripe enough, or sweet enough, or it tastes “green”. Others have their own qualifiers for similar descriptions.
I also like to use comparisons to something similar that reminds me of it, or word association. Something like “tastes just like banana taffy”. Or Mother’s English Tea Cookies". Or Jello Pistachio Pudding". But that is if it is spot on for that flavor. Otherwise I’ll say “reminds” me of rather than tastes like. Or if it isn’t similar to anything I’ve tried before, I’ll say unique, might be good with ______. That way I know what flavors came to mind during testing that I thought would be interesting in trying with it later.
But then you have to understand the entire subjective aspect. Some people like heavy in your face flavor. Some like light, which some can’t taste as there are not many super testers. But when I read some else’s tasting notes, I do it with the understanding that I may mix it at the 4% they like, and find it’s either too strong or weak and I need to adjust it to my personal likes. But their notes are still very very useful to me as the other aspects of their notes remain mostly accurate, and it provides a realistic look at starting percentages, usually more accurate than recommended from the manufacturer. Unless it’s strawberry and you are strawberry blind
So basically it’s my long drawn out, meandering way of saying write notes YOU understand and that will help you. I always hope someone finds value or help from my notes, but the end goal is providing help to myself when mixing recipes
Totally agree with @MysticRose here, your notes are for you, so just write down what you taste and link it with something meaningful to you. That cheesecake at 4% taste like sweaty socks? Write down sweaty socks and look to lower the percentage. Do you taste graham cracker on the inhale, and cheese on the exhale, write it down. I’ve always approached mixing like cooking, you have to know your ingredients or it’s a crap shoot. You know how much salt / pepper that you like on your eggs because you’ve subconsciously taken mental notes on how much of this does that. This is the same premise, but imagine that major brands of salt all tasted different, welcome to diy! Lol
Make sure that you’re keeping track of the dates too. You will see (or have already seen) that certain types of flavors take longer to develop, some fade, etc. Your notes will be invaluable to you when you start developing your own recipes, so they have to make sense to you. Once you start making heads or tails of things like how fa’s custard differs from cap’s, it’ll REALLY start coming together for you!
We’re here for you, have fun with it!