e-Liquid Mixing Methodologies

There are generally 2 main approaches to DIYing e-liquid flavors.

Flavor centric mixing
Batch based mixing

It may seem ambiguous at first glance, but there is a clear distinction between the two.

Flavor Centric Mixing

Flavor centric mixing focuses on creating a stand-alone flavor mix. This means that first a mixture is created of flavor extracts ONLY. Once the extract flavor mixture is complete, the e-liquid mix can be finished by using a percentage-based approach.

Example:
Flavoring Components
2.000mL TFA Acai (80%)
0.400mL TFA Taro (16%)
0.100mL TFA Sweetener (4%)
2.500mL Total Flavoring “A”

e-Liquid Components
5.00% Flavoring “A”
25.00% 24mg/mL 100% PG liquid nicotine
10.00% USP PG
60.00% USP VG
100.00% 6mg/mL 40%PG-60%VG Final Product

If your average test batch calls for 2mL of e-liquid, that calculates out to…

0.100mL Flavoring “A”
0.500mL 24mg/mL 100% PG liquid nicotine
0.200mL USP PG
1.200mL USP VG
2.000mL Total mL

Here is a final breakdown of Flavor “A” by flavor extract…

0.080mL TFA Acai
0.016mL TFA Taro
0.004mL TFA Sweetener
0.100mL Flavor “A”

Due to this flexibility, it is much easier to make adjustments to increase certain flavors at a much more intricate level. Separating the flavor extract mixture from the final product provides the ability to make small adjustments. This property of flavor centric mixing makes it possible to both strengthen and dilute certain flavors without abandoning the mix altogether.

Example:
Increase Acai strength/dilute Taro
2.500mL TFA Acai (83%)
0.400mL TFA Taro (13%)
0.100mL TFA Sweetener (4%)
3.000mL Total Flavoring “A”

Further, it allows for a more efficient testing methodology of different percentages at both the extract and total flavoring levels. The original 2.5mL of Flavoring “A” can be tested on more final products at various percentages of the final product over more test batches.

5.00% Flavoring “A” in 2mL = .1mL Flavoring “A”
10.00% Flavoring “A” in 2mL = .2mL Flavoring “A”
15.00% Flavoring “A” in 2mL = .3mL Flavoring “A”

In this example of the original 2.5mL total flavoring, there is still 1.9mL left of Flavoring “A” for testing, reference, or further flavor experimentation.

Batch Based Mixing

Batch based mixing focuses on creating a flavor based on the extract percentages as a total of the final product. Instead of building and developing the flavoring first, this approach views the flavorings as a percentage of the final product.

Example:
7.50% TFA Acai
2.00% TFA Taro
0.50% TFA Sweetener
25.00% 24mg/mL 100% PG liquid nicotine
5.00% USP PG
60.00% USP VG
100.00% 6mg/mL 40%PG-60%VG Final Product

If your average test batch calls for 2mL of e-liquid, that calculates out to…

0.150mL TFA Acai
0.040mL TFA Taro
0.010mL TFA Sweetener
0.500mL 24mg/mL 100% PG liquid nicotine
0.100mL USP PG
1.200mL USP VG
2.000mL Total mL

In case it isn’t evident, trying to mix up a batch at the mL accuracy of 1/100th is damn near impossible. While the equipment is out there, I tend to think it is probably uncommon, especially amongst the DIY community. This means larger test batches need to be made to accommodate for these percentages or the percentages need to be altered to accommodate the test batch size. Given the mixing and testing process, both of these alternatives seem less than desirable.

Summary

Flavor centric mixing allows for a more flexible use of raw materials to really perfect a mix. However, this is absolutely a big time commitment and demands some familiarity with flavor extract profiles. If intricate and complex e-liquid and flavor note development are the goal, then this is definitely the method to follow.

Batch based mixing is a hard and fast method to pump out an e-liquid quick. As it is relatively more difficult to accurately make adjustments to batches, batch mixing does not lend itself as an efficient e-liquid testing methodology. If a proven one or two extract mix is the goal, then this is the quickest method to a vape-ready e-liquid.

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