Using Water and Vodka as a base (Instead of PG)

Hey Guys,

I was asked to write a…paper. (we’ll call it a white paper because I don’t want to call it a manifesto or a diatribe) on my method of mixing my base liquid. (VG only base).

Some of you know I am be nature quite lazy. @thghgv (the dear soul) sent me a private message asking a bunch of questions about how and why I do this.

I am an opportunist so I’m going to just copy the conversation here, leaving out some of the “Maureenie snarkiness”.

For anyone who is interested in this method, please read this and you PG manufacturers better just leave me the heck alone because this isn’t even going to put a dent in your profit!

Enjoy!

Vodka/Water 100% VG base details

thghgv asks

Hi There. Thanks so much for sharing that info about the vodka/alcohol - I believe I will adopt this method rather than mess with PDO which is sketchy at best and doesn’t alleviate PG type allergic reactions anyway which is the whole reason behind making 100% VG mixes in the first place.

If you could provide a few details about the process you use successfully, I would be eternally grateful.

Mainly, you use a base solution of 1% Absolut Vodka (which is a purified vodka?), with 5% distilled water and VG. Then you said you heated it - and then shake the heck out of it. What do you use to heat it in, how hot and for how long do you sustain the heat before you shake it until it bubbles?

Thanks in Advance!

Maureeenie Replies

I don’t heat the base VG mixture at all, you want to keep the alcohol in there until your flavorings are added. The alcohol is what breaks down the VG.

I heat it for a sort time “after” the flavorings have been added to speed up the steep time.

This burns off the alcohol and helps set the flavorings into the VG. The heating also thins out the mix before shaking it and it you don’t have to shake it as long.

I let my mixes sit out overnight with a very loose lid to allow the chemicals to “gas” off. A chemist told me to do this with any mixing you do because putting all the flavors together with the VG creates it’s own chemical reaction. Berries are acidic, the VG is sweet… etc. They all have a different PH balance as well.

thghgv asks

That is great info!

So you’re heating the entire final mix then shaking afterward. What are you putting the mixes in to heat them, for how long are you heating them and what temperature are you bringing the mixes up to before disengaging the heat and starting the shaking process?

I’m trying to get a methodology down that I can apply to a step by step process as in -

calculate your mix ingredients on the calc
measure out your ingredients and put the mix together in a "???" type of container
once the mix is assembled, heat the mix to "??"° for "??" minutes
removed from heat, shake the mix vigorously for "??" minutes
leave the mix in the same (or different container?) and aerate overnight to allow impurities to be released.
Transfer to squeezy bottles and steep for "XX" number of days/hours

Please feel free to add or subtract to this to make it more accurate and easy to follow.

I really appreciate all your help!
Thanks in Advance!

Maureeenie Answers

I use glass bottles and put it in a crock pot on low for 2 hours.

thghgv asks

Cool! I am already assuming you leave the caps off the bottles and you leave the lid off the crocker as well to allow for gassing off impurities?

One nice little item I found for mixing is one of these little numbers


Handheld eLiquid Mixer

Easily and conveniently mix your eLiquid batches with this handheld battery operated mixer. Batteries sold separately, 2-AA 1.5V required.

which will save time and effort for a lot of the mixing/shaking. These are actually liquid milk/coffee frothers that anyone can buy in a cooking store however that one is decent;y priced.

Re Shaking: You are mixing/shaking the liquid before and after heating correct?

And thank you again this is Great INFO!

Maureeenie Answers

It’s not to rid it of impurities. When all your flavors (chemicals) come together, there is a chemical process taking place. They change the properties of each other and it does create a gas. That gas is the chemical smell you will smell in any flavoring. Why? Because it’s all chemicals. If you pour water on paper what happens? The paper changes its structure, it’s not flat anymore.Imagine the mentos in the coke bottle effect. Some chemicals when they meet each other actually react violently, this type of chemical reaction is explosive.

You don’t need that mixer thing. There’s people on this site that use magnetic stirrers and mixers, ultra sonic cleaners… most of the hard core folks do it because they will not heat their liquid. They believe heating kills the flavor. It actually can if you make it too hot, but you aren’t doing that in this case. You need friction (stirring or shaking) or heating to bind the molecules. Heating the liquid binds the molecules.

If you warm your liquid up to the point of being thin after you have added all your flavorings, it’s warm when you shake it and very thin. In that warming process those chemicals are getting to know each other and bonding nicely. If you gas off overnight and shake it again and throw it in a drawer for a week, the bottom of that bottle and the top will taste the same. Those molecules are bound together.

I don’t use any of that stuff anymore. Heat, shake, gas off. Next day, close lid, shake one more time, close it up throw it in a drawer.

thghgv asks

Great info here. Thank you! Can I assume a main reason why you started using vodka (alcohol) as a flavor solvent in your juice mixing is to avoid allergic reactions to PG or was it for some other reason?

Maureeenie Answers

PG was burning my lungs. (like a burn hurt ouch injury) PG is anti freeze.

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Great paper @Maureeenie Thank you!

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PG is sometimes used as an ingredient for antifreeze, but as an additive to make it less dangerous if accidentally swallowed. Propylene glycol does have a lower freezing point than water, but that doesn’t necessarily make it dangerous.Mar 25, 2013

pg is not antifreeze

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We use it in the water lines in our camper in the winter. I know it’s food safe but, it actually is antifreeze.

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VG won’t completely freeze either. It will just get sluggish and move like a sloth out of the bottle.

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i will agree to disagree

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We still love each other.

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of course we do :wink: , i have had this discussion a thousand times so it wears me out , my understanding through research is that pg is an additive to antifreeze to replace ethylene glycol , i do understand that mixing water and pg is sufficient for interior hydronic lines , so the term antifreeze could be used for pg , the issue i have with the term being used is because most people think of antifreeze as the green stuff you put in cars that killed their animal because they licked up a spill , and you are right VG is also " antifreeze" like i said most people think of antifreeze as the stuff that is in their car that killed their animal …

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indo have a question though , i cant vape higher than 80vg so alot of my mixes are between 70 and 80 vg and i do use pg , is the vodka water mix only good for max vg mixes

I have Vodka in my freezer and it isn’t frozen. Vodka is also antifreeze. :grin:

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Love the write up, thanks :slight_smile:
As many others have indicated, PG = antifreeze is a bit of misinformation. It’s an ingredient of non-toxic antifreeze would be more correct. Vodka probably does a better job at antifreeze but is more toxic.

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Just few things because I’m serious about trying your method and I want to get it right. I’m not familiar with a crock pot and I’m no hero in the kitchen either. All I know is that a crock pot is an Australian slow cooker.
Do you fill it up with water and place the bottles in the water or just let the pot heat up your bottles? If you had to guestimate… what temperature would the e-liquid get to? 50°C, 75°C, 100°C? Do you add nicotine and if so, is this before or after this heating process?
If you don’t have access to a slow cooker, could you put the liquids in the oven at the above mentioned temperature with the lids off so that the alcohol could evaporate immediately, or is it best to keep the lids on while being heated?
And the last thing… alcohol is needed to break down the VG you say. So how long should you steep your VG/water/alcohol base before adding the flavorings?

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I never tried it :slight_smile:

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And it’s delicious.

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A slow cooker (crock pot) is a metal electrical pan that has a ceramic pot that goes in it.

The temps vary by brand but low is enough to just burn your hand if you actually touched it for more than a couple seconds. On high it will burn your hand, it’s about the temperature of a low simmer on your stove.

I use my crock pots for food too so I pull that ceramic pot out of there and I put the 4 oz glass bottles right on top of that metal. I don’t want vape seeping into my ceramic.

I use this kind of bottle to heat, shake and steep, it’s a 4 oz (or 120ML) Boston Round, you can get them in any size ML from 10ML to huge size and they are cheap:

When I’m in a hurry, I microwave them with the lids off for 12 seconds. Some people here will gasp and say… “no no MICROWAVE NO NO NO OMG” but … I do it and gets it just warm enough to thin it so it shakes well. (It’s scrambling the wet molecules and creating friction - it works)

A stove, yeah, I guess, a couple hundred degrees maybe? I suppose you could do it but it would be safer to put it on the warmer on a Mr. Coffee type pot warmer for a few hours.

You want to keep the lids off or loose, very loose because you don’t want to create any pressure in the bottle. There’s evaporation going on in the heating process.

As I mentioned in my original post, you don’t want to heat this base at all, you want to keep the alcohol in this base. You only heat it after you put the flavors in it. Does that answer your questions?

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To the antifreeze point… it’s semantics.

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I understand you only apply heat after you add flavors. Do you make the base (VG/water/vodka) long in advance (so it sort of steeps and alco has time to break down VG) or doesn’t it matter and can you just mix everything in 1 go?

And I assume that any nic is added after the heating process or do you do everything at 0mg?

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Nope, I use Nicotine. I make 800 ML of it at a time. Why 800? Because 800 ML is what my BPA free shaker bottle for protein drinks holds :slight_smile: It has a nice tight sealing lid and a handy little pour spout! It kind of looks like this:

I will even give you the Maureenie’s Method for Mixing Nicotine otherwise known as

"Not the most incredibly accurate but totally safe and damn close way to mix a base recipe" recipe. Or … Mixing E-Liquids for Dummies.

Take 30 ML of 36MG VG (I buy from ECX)

Add 30 ML of Maureenie VG Base. You now have 60 ML of 18MG Base Then…

Take your 60 ML of 18MG Base and add 60 ML of Maureenie Base and you now have 120ML of 9MG Nic Base Then…

Take your 120 ML of 9 MG Base and Add 120 ML of Maureenie Base and you now have 240 ML of 4.5 MG Base…**

Keeping Cutting it by 100% of the Volume until you get your nicotine level you want and remember if you use 25% flavor you are cutting your MG of nicotine you made your base with by 25%.

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This kind of mixing method makes some people crazy on this site because they weigh their flavors and they have this stuff down to a micro gram of… you know… that kind of stuff makes ME crazy. My method is idiot proof and I can’t hurt myself lol

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nice and easy hehe

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