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Making your own E-Liquid from scratch (DIY E-Liquid) involves using a mix of PG (propylene glycol), VG (vegetable glycerine), concentrated flavourings and nicotine to create your very own personalised recipe!
The majority of E-Liquids contain a mixture of both PG and VG. Both of these ingredients offer different attributes to your E-Liquid, so it can be handy to know plenty about them in order for you to find your perfect balance/ratio of the two.
VG has a thick consistency which provides very little throat hit with large vapour production. E-Liquids with a high VG content (anything above 60% VG) should only be used with high power set-ups because a lot of power/heat is needed to burn thick liquids. Sub Ohm Tanks (tanks that contain atomisers with a resistance below 1.0 Ohms) paired with high powered mods (20 Watts+) are the ideal setup for high VG liquids.
PG is the thinner, less viscous liquid of the two bases. E-Liquids with high PG content (50% or higher) are compatible with most tanks/clearomisers on the market. PG is the ingredient in E-Liquid that provides the throat hit (aside from the nicotine). The more PG you add, the harsher the liquid will be on your throat when you take a ‘puff’/draw. It's worth noting that when using high PG E-Liquids with higher powered setups (20 Watts+), the liquid will be vapourised very quickly which not only leads to quicker E-Liquid consumption, but the throat hit will be a lot harsher and there is a chance of spit back. For this reason higher PG liquids are recommended to be used with lower powered setups (20 Watts and below).
The most common nicotine concentrations in DIY E-Liquid are 3mg and 6mg. This is the case even more so now the TPD Regulations have come in and changed the strength of raw nicotine from 7.2%/72mg to 1.8%/18mg. This means realistically you can’t make your E-Liquid higher than 16mg.
Undiluted liquid nicotine is a poison even in small amounts, please handle with extreme caution. Use protective clothing, gloves and goggles to ensure no contact is made with skin or eyes. If any contact is made with skin or eyes ensure you thoroughly wash affected area with water for at least 15 minutes. If you feel unwell seek medical attention immediately.
When making your own E-Liquid you need to have a desired VG/PG ratio in mind. The more VG you use the thicker and smoother the liquid is going to be. The more PG you use the thinner and harsher your liquid will be when you vape it. The ratio simply refers to the percentage of PG in the mix compared to the percentage of VG in the mix. For example, an 80vg/20pg ratio means the E-Liquid is made up of 80% VG and 20% PG. It’s important to remember that everything that goes into the E-Liquid contributes towards this ratio; your flavouring is a PG base, while your nicotine can be purchased in all different kinds of VG/PG mixes. We recommend using a 100% PG or a 100% VG nicotine because it's easier to work out your calculations. Some common ratios you can make your own E-Liquid to are:
30vg/70pg - strong throat hit, low vapour production (can be used in all tanks/clearomisers but recommended low powered setups)
50vg/50pg - moderate throat hit, moderate vapour production (can be used in all tanks/clearomisers)
60vg/40pg - mild throat hit, good vapour production (can be used in all tanks/clearomisers but is better in tanks capable of outputting 20W+)
70vg/30pg - weak throat hit, large vapour production (can only be used in sub ohm tanks)
80vg/20pg - very weak throat hit, very large vapour production (can only be used in sub ohm tanks)
If you are using a sub ohm tank it’s recommended you have your liquid smooth with less of a throat hit because these tanks make E-Liquid seem much harsher because of the high power used with them. Higher VG ratios such as 70vg/30pg or 80vg/20pg are recommended. This is the same for nicotine; the strength of the nicotine is amplified by sub ohm tanks, so you’re probably not going to want to go higher than 6mg. Bear in mind that not everyone is the same and some people like their liquid harsher than this.
If you are using a standard clearomiser (or any device where you vape below 15 Watts) you’re going to want to make your liquid thinner by using more PG. This is because thick liquids aren’t compatible with these type of tanks as they are unable to vapourise the liquid quick enough which clogs and ruins the coil.
Equipment needed for making E-Liquid from scratch
-Concentrated Flavouring (sold in 30ml bottles)
-Empty E-Liquid Mixing Bottle (we recommend 100ml because working out mixing percentages is much easier)
-Syringe (usually 10ml)
-Nicotine shots (10ml bottles - see 'Step 3' below to see how much you will need)
-PG and/or VG (available in 250ml, 500ml & 1000ml bottles)
-Protective gloves and goggles
-Calculator (if not using our measurements guide)
If you don't fancy working out exactly how much of each ingredient you will need for your E-Liquid then don't worry, we've done it all for you! View our DIY E-Liquid Calculation / Measurement Guide here: http://www.thebestecigarette.co.uk/diy-e-liquid-calculation/
How to make your E-Liquid
Step 1) Gather all required equipment, put on protective gloves and goggles and have your empty E-Liquid bottle ready.
Step 2) Once you have your desired VG/PG ratio in mind, start by adding your chosen flavour concentrate. We recommend adding 15% for most fruit & dessert flavours, and 2-7% for most tobacco & mint/menthol flavours. This does however vary due to personal preference. Let's say we're making a fruit flavour, the 15% refers to filling 15% of your mixing bottle with the concentrate, not using 15% of your overall concentrate. We recommend a 100ml mixing bottle because it makes all the measurements a lot easier: in a 100ml bottle 15% of concentrate equates to 15ml. Remember that the flavour concentrate is a PG Base, so if you use 15% this contributes to 15% PG in your overall VG/PG ratio. You can use personal judgement to add your concentrate, e.g. if you are aiming to use 15% flavour in a 100ml mixing bottle you can simply add half of your 30ml concentrate. If you would prefer more precise measurements you can use a syringe to add your flavour. If you only have one syringe for all of your ingredients, just make sure you give it a rinse in-between each ingredient to avoid cross-contamination. If you do this also make sure you properly dry the syringe after every rinse. Mint/menthol & tobacco flavours tend to be a lot stronger so this is why we recommend using a lower percentage for these. It's better to start lower and add more later than put too much in to begin with and ruin your whole mix.
Step 3) Add your nicotine. Nicotine shots come in 10ml bottles in a variety of VG/PG mixes and are 18mg in strength. We recommend using 100% PG or 100% VG nicotine because this is easier to work out your overall VG/PG ratio. If you've not looked at our measurement guides then you will need your calculator to work out how much nicotine you need. First enter your mixing bottle size into your calculator (e.g enter ‘100’ if you are mixing your liquid in a 100ml bottle), then divide this number by the strength of the raw nicotine you are using and press ‘equals’ (the nicotine shots are 18mg so divide by ‘18’). The result will be the amount of Nicotine (in ‘ml’) needed for 1mg nicotine strength. All you now have to do is multiply this number by the strength you would like your overall E-Liquid to be, e.g if you want 3mg E-Liquid then multiply by ‘3’. If you are using a 100ml bottle you would need 16.7ml of nicotine for 3mg. To make it easier you can round this up to 17ml if you wish (it won't make a huge difference). Some people even round down to 15ml because that way they can just add one and a half nic shots without the need for measuring. If you trust your personal judgement you can try squeezing the nicotine straight into your mixing bottle, or if you'd prefer more precise measurements you can use a syringe to do it.
Step 4) Once both nicotine and flavourings are added, fill the rest of your bottle with your PG and/or VG. Quantities of these will vary depending on what consistency and ‘harshness’ you’d like your liquid. VG = smoother & more vapour. PG = harsher & less vapour. Remember everything you add to your bottle contributes to the VG/PG ratio and if you mix in a 100ml bottle, every 1ml equates to 1% of this ratio/percentage. For example if you're trying to make a 70vg/30pg (70% VG / 30% PG) mix and have added 15% concentrated flavour to your 100ml mixing bottle, this is 15ml which equates to 15% of your PG already accounted for. If you require 3mg nicotine, you could add 15ml of PG nicotine (one and a half nic shots) which makes up the remaining 15% of your PG, so you don't actually need to add any more PG and can just top the rest of your bottle up (70ml) with VG to make up the 70% VG.
Step 5) Once all products are added, put the lid on and shake well.
Tip: Get a bowl of hot water (not boiling) and place your newly mixed bottle in there (with the lid firmly on) so the water comes up to around half way up the bottle (or as high as possible before the bottle starts to float). Leave the bottle in the water until it cools. This allows the liquid to mix more efficiently and 'steep' quicker (see below for steeping info). Take the bottle out of the water, dry it off and give it another good shake. This process can be repeated as many times as you like. Again do not submerge the full bottle underwater, only fill the bowl to a level where the bottle can sit on the bottom without floating and the lid is not submerged.
If you struggle with measurements at any point, feel free to check out our 'DIY E-Liquid Calculation' page to find out exactly how much of each ingredient you will need for your mix!
Steeping is the process in which you leave your finished liquid to stand so the flavour can develop properly. It is recommended to leave the liquid to stand at room temperature out of the way of any heat, for example in a cupboard.
Depending on which flavourings you have used, steeping time can vary between different flavours.
Fruits, sweetie and menthol flavours take little to no time to steep fully meaning it is possible to vape it almost instantly after it has been made. This is something a lot of vapers call “shake ‘n’ vape”.
Dessert flavours (such as cakes, creams and custards) and tobacco flavours take around 2/3 weeks to fully steep. This is because these flavours need plenty of time to develop fully. Using the above warm water method can help speed up this process by a day or two each time it is done. The best method of steeping though is just to wait for the full amount of time; it's amazing how much a flavour can develop and change in this period.
Once all instructions have been followed carefully your liquid will be ready to vape.