Im new to diy and I’ve been taking a hit and miss approach to mixing by following recipes and adapting without any real idea of what I am really doing, I haven’t had any major catastrophes or even anything that has been un-vapable as yet… but after stumbling upon your forum and reading a lot of the amazing advice from you guys, I’ve decided a more measured approach might be in order if I want to start making amazing juice.
I’ve ordered some scales and other mixing equipment which should be arriving in a couple of days and plan to start doing some single flavour tests so I can learn about the flavours characteristics and put them to better use.
I was wondering if you had any tips mainly on how to test the tests, a fresh wick in my RDA seems to be the most obvious choice but seems like a lot of waste and effort for a couple of drips of several different flavours (my RDA is a dual coil set up) any other general tips on mixing/tasting would also be greatly appreciated. I realise that there is probably existing posts on the subject and I have tried to find them but I’m also very new to forums(this is my first!) And couldn’t find one, user error most likely!
Here’s a little help using the search function, we have alot of info on Single Flavor tests, or SFT’s. Just click the magnifying glass to the upper right, and type in the terms you want to search.
Welcome to ELR.
Fresh wick/coil is always the best, but there’s a variety of approaches that range from no wick at all (just a few drops of liquid directly on a coil) to a “stove top” coil, and more.
I personally prefer using a single coil atty that I’m very familiar with (so I can see changes, and better understand how to interpret differences better)… But try several methods for yourself and find out what your preference is for what you have to work with before you get too deep into testing.
Not much sucks more than having to repeat tests due to a change in methodology. (It’s time consuming, but very VERY worth it IF you are in it for the long haul!)
It really is not a waste of time and product… once you know what you are working with… your recipes and taste buds will thank you.
If you’ve read a lot here already, you’ll most likely have seen it mentioned that taste is a very subjective thing. Well, people’s practices are just as subjective. Some people think it’s easier one way and others find another way better.
Stove top (or lollypop) coils, single coils, dual coils, the same coils/tank that you usually vape on, wickless coils, … it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re comfortable with your procedures and if they’re helpful to you.
Before I do any testing, I would have read up on the flavors I want to test. I check recommended percentages for the flavor I’m about to test. Based on this, I kinda know how much base liquid I have to test with. If a flavor is useful from 0.1%, it’s really difficult to test a 10ml bottle and I’ll up it to a 30ml. If the mean usage is about 2-4%, 10ml would be a more appropriate size for me.
Then I add about a quarter of the mean usage to my base, mix it up (literally with a small mixer) and I try it without steeping. I’ll up the % in my tester and repeat this process until the flavor starts to give off unpleasant notes or mutes. At that point, I know what the workable range is for the flavor.
Depending on those results, I make 1, 2 or 3 little bottles with minimum, mid and maximum usage to steep. Those go in a cupboard and will be tested after 2 weeks. I used to test about every day but I don’t see the point of it anymore. When in doubt after 2 weeks, I may or may not continue steeping but usually I’m done at that point.
Personally, I prefer to use a single coil atty because it’s easy and fast to re-coil, wick etc. I used to use cotton pads as wick but it’s always a pain to cut, peel off the outer layers and rewick so I’m now on a quest to find good and affordable shoelace wicks (fasttech, ali express, gearbest etc have lots and cheap ones on offer).
If you use a beefy coil and use temperature control, the coil will hold a lot of juice and you won’t even need a wick for testing, but every 2 or 3 puffs you’ll need to drip again. Want to change flavors, just dry-burn the coil (sometimes it needs a rinse) and start with a new flavor.
It really doesn’t matter what method you use, but keep it easy and fun. It doesn’t make much sense doing 2 dozen flavors every day, take it easy and give your taste buds a break. A lot of people see SFT’ing as an annoying chore, stop doing them or immediately start mixing recipes and judge flavors that way… it just doesn’t work efficiently so keep your head cool, don’t overdo it and look at it as a fun new discovery each time.
fun!!! haha!! yes please and lots…
Haha thanks @Silhouette seems so obvious now, that’d be a lot quicker then scrolling through literally every post on here, I can be a bit analogue at times!
Thank you all for your tips and help, theres a lot of info and things to consider… and a lot more reading to be done especially now I know how to search properly hahah
It’s a little overwhelming that there are so many different ways and I’m gonna try not to get bogged down in it all too much and keep it fun and find one that works for me. @anon28032772
@Sprkslfly Definitely gonna look into stove tops or might even invest in a single coil RDA. Not sure i like the idea of dripping onto a bare coil even though it would save time re-wicking. Thanks again everyone lots to think about but I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end
@anon84779643 lots of useful information in your post, just read it and was blown away! Looks like I’ve got some more shopping to do, the glass bottles make more sense for testing. Thanks again and I’m gonna try be as disciplined, nothing worth having comes without a little hard work after all.
@MrMattuk single flavor testing can be as complicated or not complicated as you want.
I’m not 100% sure I know what you meant by this, but maybe layering multiple flavors together for a combined test ?? That can make figuring out which flavor is doing what, when combined.
Single flavoring can be tedious, but that’s the best way to see what they are really like. You can test at a single percentage, with a standard steep time which is what I typically do, or you can go deeper and test at multiple percentages, and over different steep times for more detailed results.
Make sure your testing setup IS a flavor setup, and only you can decide on that “right” setup for you. One that consistently gives you great flavor should be the top priority, and quick/easy flavor/wick changes should be second.
You can’t do that on every coil, but watch how this coil sucks up juice:
If you combine that with TC, you can safely vape on it without getting a nasty experience I’m not saying you should do this, just telling you it’s an option if you test a lot and want to save time on wicking and reduce waste cotton.
@SessionDrummer I wasnt being as ambitious as that I just meant I have around 30 flavours in my stash and to effectively single flavour test them all I would need to re-wick my RDA after testing every one. Especially as my RDA is a dual coil set up, Gonna look into a single coil set up to limit waste etc. Thanks for the info theres some amazing notes there I’ve bookmarked them for future reference!
Wow now that is a thirsty coil! I can see how you wouldn’t need to wick that just for a couple of hits, might be worth a look thanks @anon28032772
@MrMattuk, 30 flavors is great, and you can get as detailed as you want to. Cotton is cheap so changing between flavors wont cost much. Best part is, you can find out whatever method works for you. Can’t wait to see your results.
@SessionDrummer neither can I, I’m a reasonably patient person… most of the time I guess in this case I’m gonna have to dial the patience up a notch especially if some of the flavours require a lengthy steep haha
Thanks again for your input, I shall be referring to your notes and of course the elr database on flavours for guidance on %'s I know taste is a subjective thing and can vary wildly from person to person and even on different devices etc. Its gonna be a long and hopefully rewarding journey!
Ok, I’ll put my 2 cents worth in, I’M CHEAP, I got one dual coil dripper set up for testing and some (many) times I just run 20/80 unflavored thru it for a while (which I actually enjoy) between test, the rest of the time I got about 5 tanks going and a squonker for finished recipes.
I usually change flavors on the same cotton as long as they’re similar flavors and I’m not doing any tests or if you’re talking about a very weak flavor.
There are a lot of flavors that are really hard to get rid of though. Mints, chocolates, coffees, strong cinnamon, cardamom, … some fruity flavors are really strong too and just won’t come out of your wick even after flushing it with base liquids. I can’t recommend that for flavor testing.
Using Koh Gen Doh, it costs me about 2 cents per wick, a shoelace cotton wick will cost me 3 cents per coil. Vaping some unflavored base will probably cost you just as much
Yeah I do have to change cotton for some flavors for obvious reasons, I think I’ll try your suggested coil only approach, I think that is genius
My problem is since I went to mesh, just hate messing with the old pulse rda I have, was decent back when I had it set up for bf.
I keep a bottle of unflavored base on my bench. I test a flavor and then drip some unflavored. Cleans out the wick and I move on to test the next.
Hi @MrMattuk I use a single coil rda for testing. If you prefer to use a wick what I do is insert a very short one and I like to use rayon because it doesn’t need a break-in period like cotton. You know how cotton has that taste until the juice completely takes over? Well, I notice it anyway. The other option, mentioned above and even easier, is a wickless coil. Any highly textured coil should suffice…Aliens, multi-core Claptons, Braided, Juggernaut, etc.