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Why so Harsh?


Hello, i am new to the DYI e-liquid world.

I’ve reproduced 2 recipes found on the “What can i make” section based on the flavors i had logged in there. I adapted the recipe to make 50ML of each recipe with my nic %. For some reason, both recipes seems to be harsh when vaped. They are both Max VG (some PG from flavors).

Also, it seems like there is barely any flavor to the liquid when vaped. It smells and taste amazing just like that with a drop on the finger but when vaped, i can barely tell what’s in there.

Any tips to make the recipe better and less harsh would be really appreciated.

Link to the adapted recipes:
http://tjek.nu/r/r0HG Danish
http://tjek.nu/r/r0JK BB MUFFIN


Steep time, nic strength, device you are vaping on will all be helpful to finding a solution.


One of the recipes are “Private” but looking at the other, your (imho) not using much percentage wise for the ingredients, if looking at the ingredient list for those items are in the least bit accurate.


I did not really steep it yet. I just wanted to try it quick and see if i like the taste before making a bigger bottle. Would steeping reduce the “harshness” or only help with the flavor?

Mod: Minikin v2
Tank: Crown 3
Coil: 0.25
on 100W

Nic strenght is 3mg


Should i add more of the flavors? As i said i am really new to this, i’ve looked at multiple recipes, they all seemed quite low % and ml’s of the flavors, thought this was enough and well adapted for my 50ML but i could give a try to adding more flavor on my next try if that would help.


In the first recipe I see Cinnamon Danish Swirl. A nice pastry type cinnamon but it does need some steep time to calm the harness of the cinnamon and let the pastry come in. Cinnamon in general can be harsh on the throat.

And hopefully some of us can help you in your DIY journey.

You using free Base nic or nic salts? Reason I ask is that nic salts are good at sub 40w and you are vaping at 100w. Also, how does your nic look and smell?


I am using VG base nic from The Broke Vaper @ 60mg/ML. Light yellow, smell is light also. I’ve heard they had really good nic which is why i ordered from them.


I see you have Watermelon candy in your stash. Try it around 4 to 5% with 3mg nic added and let it steep for 2 days and try it. Fruits tend to take less steep time. Test it and see if it is also harsh.


Sounds like a plan. I’ll mix that tonight when i get home from work and see this weekend if its good. Thanks for your help! :smile:


For the flavors you’re using, I would have to agree with Tut. Even if you let it steep a long time, at these % you’re not going to get a bold flavor.
You should make a few small testers (10-20ml) and play around with the % a bit. Just for comparison’s sake, I’d make 3 testers, one exactly like this, one with double the % and one even triple the %. Have them all steep for 3-4 weeks and compare them next to each other.
The custard can easily be used up to 10% (but expect a steep time of 6-8 weeks for that at least).

Harshness is something common for a lot of flavors and often due to the alcohol or other ingredients that are used as a suspension. Most of it will steep off. If you keep having harshness with different flavors after a 2 week steep time, I’d try a plain VG/nic mixture to see if perhaps your nic is the source. Light yellowish hue in nic isn’t necessarily a problem, but it could be an indication. Nic also shouldn’t have a bad or fishy smell.


Hmm…Fresh Nic should be almost crystal clear. Your description sounds like it might have started to oxidize.

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Nic salts are generally slightly yellow


If they are salts yeah. Did I miss where he says that?


No you didn’t miss him saying it. I was suggesting that if it was it could be the cause of the tint.

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Def not nic salts. I’ve examined the nicotine again after work and its def light yellow. Very light but still. Does not smell strong but a little bit of an “hash tray” smell kind of. Says it was mixed Nov 2018. I hope its good and not what is causing the issue here.

I’ve mixed some more flavors tonight and the watermelon flavor test. I’ll give it a try in 2-3 days and see from there. Thanks everyone for the feedback, i did not expect so much help!


I’d still make a small sample of your base. Flavour free at you nic lvl and see how it is.

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Well im all out of time tonight, baby is sleeping and headed to bed myself but tomorrow after work i’ll mix some nic with VG and test it. Thanks for the advice. I also emailed the store where i purchased it and will see what they have to say about that.


Could read:



So i did the test.

Mixed 30ML of flavorless liquid with 3mg nicotine. It was really bad. So harsh that it made me cough.

Mixed 30ML flavored liquid no nicotine, no steeping, no harshness at all.

I am getting a replacement nic bottle from TheBrokeVaper as they also suspect something is wrong with the nicotine since its got the light yellow color AND the that is is harsh in a flavorless mix.

Very good support from Danny @ TheBrokeVaper, quick response and no hesitation on sending a replacement product. Hopefully the next bottles i mix will be a better experience with this replacement.

Thanks everyone for the great tips & advice.


Glad you got it sorted