Electronic Cigarettes have become a very popular alternative to smoking, with many continuing to make the life changing switch everday. The vast range of electronic cigarettes available continues to grow, as does the choice of e liquids. However, one problem with vape juice, especially the more premium ranges, is the cost.
Depending on your choice of e cig, you could burn through 10ml of e liquid very quickly, particularly if you use a sub-ohm device. Which is we’re going to show you exactly how to make vape juice at home.
DIY vape juice is, effectively, making your own, bespoke e liquid to suit your exact tastes and needs. Making your own allows you to determine the flavour, the nicotine strength and most importantly, how to spread the costs of vaping effectively.
What Ingredients do I need to make vape juice?
The base ingredients of any e juice consists of a diluent (optional), propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerine (VG), nicotine, flavourings, and other additives. The PG or VG makes up for around 70% of the e juice. It is also the ingredient which creates the visible vapour when heated.
Listed below are the four main ingredients needed to make DIY vape juice
PG based (propylene glycol) or VG based (vegetable glycerin) “Nicotine Shots”, also known as a ‘nicshost’. This is what you’ll use to add nicotine to your e liquid.
Note: In the UK, it is illegal to import or buy anything over 20mg/ml, so please check import laws for your country before ordering.
PG & VG
PG and VG base liquids. The PG and VG will make up most of your e liquid mix. There are small differences between PG and VG: they have a different taste, viscosity, and feel different on your throat when vaped.
For more info, read our article on the differences between PG and VG
Note: Please do not skimp on the grade of your PG or VG liquid, it’s going in your body – so always buy USP /pharmaceutical grade
There are plenty of online retails selling e juice flavouring online, a simple google search should bring up a lot of choice. When buying your flavouring, please take extra care in making sure they are ok to use as e juice in your electronic cigarette.
Example recipe composition
Below we have the composition for a simple Banana E-Liquid. Simply follow the guide for 60ml, 6mg banana vape juice with a PG/VG Ratio of 50/50 PG/VG!
|Ingredients||ml||Grams||% Of Total|
Syringes, Bottles and Safety Gear
Bottles come in a variety of sizes, from 5ml and 10ml bottles which can be used for measuring and mixing up tester flavours, to 30, 50 and 100ml bottles which you can use to keep your favourite flavours safe. Most vendors do sell empty bottles, but it’s a good idea to keep any empty bottles from pre-mixed e liquids that you buy, this will save money for future DIY mixes – just make sure you wash them out well.
Using a container is not necessary for your average DIY vaper, however, if you want to make large batches of e liquids, you might want to invest in some beakers to allow for larger quantities.
Syringes and pipettes are essential for getting the right quantity of each liquid into your DIY mix. Using these precise tools allow you to extract the exact amount of nicotine, PG, VG, and flavour concentrate needed, and makes transferring it to your mixing container safe, quick and easy. You can bulk buy these on eBay or Amazon. Most online vendors will sell a variety of sizes; anything from 1ml to 30ml.
4. Latex/non latex gloves
Gloves are an invaluable part of the DIY process as they protect your skin from spillages. Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin, so always protect your hands. They are also important for keeping your hands clean as you mix different flavours. Make sure you get a powder-free glove to ensure your mix stays pure and avoid any unwanted contamination.
5. Kitchen roll
Always keep some kitchen roll handy. It’s great for mopping up any spillages, wiping clean any blunt dripper needles, cleaning up bottle tops and generally keeping your vape kit dry during your experiments.
Step-by-step guide to mixing DIY vape juice
Now you have your DIY kit ready, the next step is to choose your flavour concentrates.
Note: Please be careful where these come from, as some contain oils and other ingredients that are dangerous when vaped.
Quick tip: Begin mixing in small batches so you don’t waste a lot of your ingredients.
Step 1: Nicotine Strength
Before you mix anything together you need to determine precisely how much nicotine content you would like your home brewed e-liquid to contain. If your aim is to produce 0% e-liquid, feel free to skip this step, otherwise pay attention to the following measurements as a small mistake can have a big impact upon the flavour and enjoyment of your e-liquid.
You will need to do some basic measuring for this step; while some of the math may initially seem overwhelming, it quickly clicks and becomes very simple to comprehend. For example:
Let’s say you wanted to make 60ml of unflavoured 9mg/ml vape juice using 18mg VG booster shots and you wanted a 100% VG Mix.
All you would need to do is take 30ml of 18mg boosters shots, and mix with 30ml of VG Base! Not so bad right!?
Quick tip: For more complicated mixes, We highly advise that you use an e liquid calculator. E liquid calculators are essential for ensuring sensible ingredient ratios and the exact measurements needed to ensure you successfully make your own e liquid. They also allow you to accurately determine the ideal amount of nicotine to use, taking into consideration the strength of your solution, as well as flavour concentrates and your VG/PG base mix.
Step 2: Flavour Concentrates
The previous step which dealt with the nicotine strength of your e-liquid was easily the hardest part of the process, with the rest of your brew mostly requiring patience. It’s time to choose the flavour of your vape; be sure to take your time in selecting your concentrate as this is the flavour that will be accompanying your vaping experience. Keep in mind that flavour concentrates are powerful substances; it doesn’t pay to use too much. Consider how you use vanilla extract when baking; a drop lends a lovely sweetness to your cooking, but a mouthful would be unbearably bitter.
Step 3: VG/PG
We’re almost done with the initial brewing process, what you now need to focus on is adding the rest of the PG/VG base to your mix. You will need to take several things into account for this, but no doubt you’ve been keeping accurate measurements of everything used so far so it should be relatively simple.
Let’s say you want a 50/50 PG/VG ratio. In order to achieve this, all you need to do is make sure you have equal proportions of both in your mix!
Quick tip: When calculating your mix, don’t forget to take note of the PG/VG ratio of your nicotine shots as this will impact the final result.
Step 4: Shake & Steep!
You’re now going to want to give your fresh brew a long, vigorous shake. Several minutes is the ideal amount of time, as the more it is shaken the better the nicotine, flavour, VG and PG will blend equally.
The last step is to simply leave your new e-liquid in a dark cupboard with the cap taken off so that the e-liquid is exposed to the open air. This ‘steeping’ process dramatically increases the flavour of the concentrate.
For the ultimate guide on how to “steep” e liquid, make sure to check out our guide on how to steep e liquid
The E Juice Calculator
If you don’t fancy trying the complete DIY approach, you can use an e liquid calculator.
The best way to ensure that you’re correctly measuring the ingredients, and keeping to the appropriate and recommended ratios, is to use an e liquid calculator. These calculators allow you to fill out a number of fields to indicate what kind of mixture you’re aiming to produce, how much of it you want to make, and how strong you want it to be. All you need to do is follow the instructions.
E liquid calculators commonly go into great depth about the substances you’ll be mixing together; whether you’re aiming to make a high-VG e liquid or a subtler 50/50 e juice.
Below are three examples of popular DIY e liquid calculator programs of varying complexity. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be good at chemistry to produce a fine e liquid, you just need a little patience and attention to detail.
The best vape juice calculators:
- E Juice Me Up
This program is available for download. It looks complicated, but they have a very informative and easy to follow FAQ/new user guide, which we highly recommend reading. This is suitable for the advanced mixer, not for the faint hearted!
- Tod Muller E Juice Calculator
Perfect for those of you who don’t want to download anything, or simply want to test different strengths and combinations. It’s fairly basic, but nice and easy to use. All you need to do is edit the numbers as and when required and it will tell you how much (both in drops and ml) you do or don’t need to use. This is suitable for beginners.
- E Liquid Calculator Vape Tool
This is a very simplistic, user friendly mobile app, suitable for both new and experienced users. There are easy and advanced options, but it is a little limited with only 3 flavour options, and you are only able to save 3 recipes. This is suitable for all levels of DIY vapers.
E liquid calculators are an essential aspect of making your own e juice, and just as vital to the process as the quality of equipment you use. Using an e liquid calculator will not only increase the chance of producing a better tasting product, you’ll also be able to record the various ingredient ratios safely for future use.
FAQ’s About DIY Vape Juice
Now you have all the necessary tools to create your own, unique e liquid flavours.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about DIY e liquid; from complete beginners to seasoned veterans.
Are Any of These Ingredients Dangerous / Harmful?
Vegetable Glycerine and Propylene Glycol are both commonly used in the production of foods and confectioneries. VG is a naturally occurring sugar, while PG is a synthesised carrier of flavour. Both can be commonly purchased in pharmacies and food industry retailers. Neither are considered toxic. Nicotine solution however is a controlled substance and is subject to age-restrictions much like tobacco products. While nicotine solutions for e-liquid brewing and short fill bottles have been diluted to a point of safety, it is still inadvisable to ingest any of the raw fluid orally, and care must be taken to wash your hands after handling the substance, particularly before food preparation.Don’t be discouraged by this warning however; in most cases the worst thing that can happen if a nicotine solution is miscalculated during a brew is a weaker or stronger e-liquid than first intended.
My E Liquid Has Changed Colour Since I Brewed it; is it Still Safe to Vape?
This is entirely normal and part of the DIY brewing process. E-liquid which is allowed to spend some time ‘breathing’ in a dark space will begin to darken and produce flavours with far greater intensity. As nicotine commonly has an impact on the flavour of e-liquid we actually encourage anyone brewing a juice stronger than 3mg to let it breath for a day or two, as the difference is very noticeable.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Further Improve The Flavour?
Along with the breathing process as described above, the e-liquid can also benefit from a treatment known as ‘steeping’. Just as simple as breathing, steeping only requires a bit of patience.
Remove the cap from your e-liquid bottle as though you were going to let it breath, but then place the bottle halfway submerged in a pool of warm-to-hot water for an hour or so. There are other methods of steeping, though most are different iterations on allowing your e-liquid to breath in a gentle heat. This process will allow the e-liquid to continue brewing and mature at a faster rate. After an hour, it can be helpful to gently squeeze the air out of the bottle before letting it refill; recycling the gases within the bottle will improve the brewing process and overall flavour.
Don’t Want to Mix Your Own E Juice?
If you can’t be bothered to faff around to try and create your own vape juice why not just leave it to the pros? At MIST we only supply the most quality controlled, flavoursome e juice from the world’s finest manufacturer. Check out the flavours we have in our online store, or visit us at one of our high street shops in Brighton and Hove, where our dedicated team will be happy to help.
However you choose to get your e juice, enjoy it, and happy vaping!