The Complete Guide to DIY E-Liquid Mixing & Flavour Concentrates
Introduction to DIY E-Liquid Mixing
Once you’ve been vaping a while, you may want to move into creating your own e-liquid at home. This may seem a daunting task to begin with but once you understand the fundamentals of DIY e-liquid mixing you’ll easily be able to mix up a big batch of e-liquid crafted to your individual taste.
Click to jump to the section:
- What is DIY E-Liquid Mixing?
- Benefits of DIY E-Liquid Mixing
- What Do I Need to Create My Own E-Liquid?
- What Strength Nic Shot Should I Buy?
- How Do I Mix My Own E-Liquid?
- Do I Need to Steep My DIY E-Liquid Mixture?
- Where Should I Store My E-Liquid?
- How Long Will My DIY E-Liquid Last?
What is DIY E-Liquid Mixing?
DIY E-Liquid Mixing is what a lot of vapers do to cut down on costs and tailor flavours to their own individual tastes. You buy your choice of flavour concentrates, diluent (PG/VG) and optionally mixer and nicotine. You can mix different flavours together and develop your own e-liquid recipes that are unique and of your own choosing; it can also be a lot of fun! It’s simple to begin and we will walk you through everything you need to know in this guide.
There are numerous benefits to making your own liquid which we have detailed below:
- Cost-saving through bulk purchases.
Great value for money. It can be expensive to keep buying 10ml or 60ml bottles of your favourite vape juice, but DIY e-liquid mixing allows you to buy larger quantities of flavour concentrates leading to a lower cost in the long-run. For example, a 10ml bottle of e-liquid could cost you £5 but when buying bulk ingredients you can bring the cost for a 10ml bottle down to just £1.69 (based off purchasing 100ml of diluent, flavour concentrates and nicotine).
- Craft the taste to suit you.
Perhaps you like a particular flavour but wish it was a bit less sweet? When you mix your own e-liquid you can control how much sweetness (or creaminess) you would want, by only adding a small amount of mixer or omitting it altogether. Mixers include brown sugar, cream, icicle drops, menthol, sour and sweetener.
- Create your own unique flavours.
Ever been looking for a vape juice flavour that doesn’t exist? With DIY e-liquid mixing, you can take matters into your own hands and create that unique flavour yourself from a combination of multiple e-liquid flavour concentrates.
- Control the nicotine content.
With premixed e-liquid’s you typically have the choice of nicotine strengths of 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg or 18mg. When you mix your own DIY e-liquid you are able to control this level of nicotine more precisely, so in theory could make an 8mg strength nicotine, which would be perfect if you find 12mg too high and 6mg too low.
- Choose the right PG/VG ratio for you.
Vapers have different PG/VG ratio preferences based on their own personal taste or the types of device you are using. Some people may also be sensitive or have an allergy to PG so need a completely VG based e-liquid. When you mix your own e-liquid you have the option to tailor the PG/VG ratio to you.
- Prevent ‘Vapers Tongue’.
Vapers tongue occurs when you’ve been vaping the same flavour for a long time and you begin to get used to the flavour and you can’t taste it as much anymore. When you mix your own e-liquid, you can change up the recipe between batches to keep your taste buds active.
- E-Liquid Flavour Concentrates.
E-Liquid concentrates are what give your juice flavour. You can either use one single flavour or experiment by mixing together different flavours to come up with your own unique taste. We stock over 100 different flavours, that can make thousands of different flavour combinations; so you’ll never get bored.
Diluents are liquids that are used to dilute your e-liquid mix. This is essential as the nicotine and flavourings are highly concentrated, and the diluent helps “carry” the flavour. The most common diluent is propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), but Aqueous Glycerine (AG) is also available. AG is similar to VG, but with the added benefits of it being easier to pour and less likely to gunk up your coils due to the presence of distilled water. You can read more about the difference between these diluent bases and find out which would suit you better in our blog post: PG vs VG.
- Nicotine – Nic Shot (optional).
Nic shots are diluted with a base before bottling, you can choose the PG/VG ratio that corresponds to your chosen diluent. One thing to remember, is that nicotine has a taste of it’s own, so adding more to a e-liquid mix can alter the flavour of the juice. Ensure you give the nic shot a good shake before use.
- Mixer (optional).
Another optional add on. Mixers are very concentrated forms of flavourings such as brown sugar, cream, icicle drops, menthol, sour and sweetener. You only need a few drops of these in your e-liquid mix for it to radically alter the taste. Start by adding just 1-3 drops per 10ml of juice.
You’ll need some clean bottles or containers to mix the juice in and store it. We find squeezable plastic bottles the easiest to use. Bottles with tinted glass/plastic are also useful for protecting the liquid from breaking down in the light.
Keep track of which e-liquid is in each bottle and the mix you used by using stick-on labels.
- Syringe or scale that measures up to 2 decimal places.
A syringe or scale helps you easily measure and dispense the ingredients.
Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin so it’s best to wear latex gloves when mixing your e-liquid just in case there are any spillages.
The formula to know how much of a nicotine liquid to add to the e-liquid mixture is:
Target Strength / Starting Strength * Total Liquid Amount
An example would be that you want 30mls of 0.6% (6ml) strength juice and you have 1.8% (18mg) nicotine liquid. So, 0.6 / 1.8 * 30 = 10ml. You would need 10ml of 1.8% (18mg) nicotine liquid to make 30ml’s of a 0.6% (6mg) strength juice.
If we stick to the 30ml total liquid amount example:
- For a final strength of 0.6% (6mg) you would need 10ml of 1.8% (18mg) nicotine liquid with 10ml diluent and 10ml flavour concentrate.
- A final strength of 0.3% (3mg) you would need 10ml of 0.9% (9mg) nicotine liquid with 10ml of diluent and 10ml flavour concentrate.
Quick Reference Tables
Starting with an 18mg (1.8%) nic shot
Starting with 9mg (0.9%) nic shot
There are only two or three main ingredients you need to create an e-liquid and that is a PG/VG diluent base plus a flavour concentrate or a selection of flavour concentrates. Nicotine is optional and so is a mixer such as a sweetener.
PG/VG ratio is a personal preference. Our premixed e-liquids are 50/50 as we find this is a good ratio for the majority of people. However, you can play around with this depending on what you are after.
Calculate the percentages of each ingredient you will need. If mixing nicotine you can follow our guide above to work out how much you need or you may find it helpful to use a DIY e-liquid calculator.
We recommend putting on gloves before beginning to mix your own e-liquid to prevent cross-contamination and prevent nicotine liquid from coming in contact with the skin.
Gather everything you need to mix your e-liquid as mentioned above and have an empty container or bottle ready. Ensure the area you are working in is sterile and always thoroughly clean instruments and bottles after use.
Mixing DIY E-Liquid Steps:
- Base: Using the syringe or scales measure out your diluent and place into the empty bottle or container.
- Optional Nicotine: If you are adding nicotine then measure your required amount and add to the base. It’s best to add too little than too much nicotine, so start small. Nicotine can also affect the flavour of the final mixture.
- Flavours: Add the flavour concentrates you want to the mixture. If you are following an e-liquid recipe which states you need 3% strawberry, this means 4% of the total mixture must be strawberry flavour concentrate. For example, if you are making 30ml of liquid you would require 1.2ml of strawberry flavouring (0.03*30=1.2).
- SHAKE! Shake the mixture vigorously to combine all ingredients.
- Steep: You have the option to steep the mixture to let the flavours mature over time. Decadent Vapours flavour concentrates do not require you to steep.
- Vape! Test out your creation! There will be a lot of trial and error when you first start out. With practice, you will begin to craft your very own delicious e-liquid recipes and save money in the long-run.
If you are confused about where to start, we recommend purchasing a Shake & Vape Kit which contains everything you need to get started. You simply mix together the three 10ml bottles in the 30ml empty bottle provided in the kit, shake and vape! There is no need to steep, so if you can’t wait to try your creation, you can vape it straight away.
This depends on where you purchase your concentrates and ingredients. Certain ingredients may require you to steep the juice for at least 5 days before it can be used, whereas with Decadent Vapours Concentrates, you can vape the mixture straight away but the flavour profile will still develop over time.
Certain mixtures will need to steep for some time to let the flavours mix, settle and become more pronounced. Typically creamy dessert based mixtures take longer to steep than fruity flavours but this varies with every mix.
Keep your e-liquid mixture in a child-proof sealed bottle or container and store out of the reach of children and pets. Ideally, keep the e-liquid in a cool dark place out of the way of direct sunlight which can break down your mixture.
This will depend on a number of factors such as where you stored it and its exposure to oxygen. If the e-liquid has been in sunlight or heat, the compounds begin to break down and affect flavour and nicotine strength. If stored correctly, e-liquid can last up to two years but this is an estimation and your e-liquid may deteriorate before this.
You can tell if your e-liquid has expired by checking to see if it has separated. Over time the denser elements of the e-liquid will sink and the lighter elements will come to the top, if they don’t mix together again after a shake then it may be time to dispose of the mixture.
Smell and taste will also change over time, so if this becomes unpleasant then dispose of the mixture.
Important Things to Note When Mixing Your Own E-Liquid
- Ensure you mix in a clean and sterile environment
- Use clean bottles and instruments
- Wear latex gloves
- Wash your hands before and after mixing
- Wear appropriate clothing which you wouldn’t mind getting some juice on
- For extra safety wear an eye mask and face mask
There’s a whole new world of e-liquid flavours just waiting to be unlocked through DIY e-liquid. The mixing process doesn’t take long at all and the process of crafting your own flavours over time can be very rewarding. Have fun and if you ever get stuck, simply get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.