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Vaping … My Week in by Julia Barnes

Vaping With Julia

Vaping with Julia - SpinfuelI’m going to try my hand at a weekly column. I’m calling it Vaping with Julia , I don’t know if this is going to work, or if any of you will find this at all interesting, but it’s worth the effort. I think.

What I thought I’d do is each weekend I would go over the past week and write about my personal vaping. I’m not deluded enough to think for a second that any of you care one way or the other what I vape, how I vape, or what I use to vape, but maybe you might be interested in a kind of ‘behind the scenes’ look at how people that write about vaping for a living vape during their own time. It’s kind of like wanting to know if a pastry chef at a fine dining establishment makes pastry at home and consumes it every day, or is he or she so sick of making it for a living that it’s the last thing they want to eat at home. Hmmm… maybe this is a dumb idea.

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I review a lot of hardware and eLiquids, and I try to give you my completely honest opinion about everything I review. But, just because I think the Apollo eCigs VTube is a good piece of hardware it doesn’t necessarily mean I use it every day, or ever.

Just because I think that a certain flavor of eLiquid is really good doesn’t mean I use it in my spare time. That would be impossible anyway because there isn’t enough time in the week to do it. So, what does this Vaper use when no one is looking? What flavor of eJuice do I grab when it’s for MY vaping pleasure? How does that stack up with your own choices? Maybe that would be interesting to read. And then maybe not. We’ll soon find out by way of tracking how many times this column is read and how many, or how few, comments are left behind.

If anything it should be an interesting project to try. If it doesn’t work there are plenty of ideas to try next. The important thing is that I continue to try to come up with a weekly column that you would be interested in. You’ll understand why the need for a new column after reading our ‘what comes next’ article by John Manzione, which should be published this week some time.

So, here’s what happened this past week….

This past week has been one of experimentation for me, especially in the area of cartomizers and tanks. I didn’t touch a single clearomizer, which is unusual for me. Switching between the oh-so-beautiful Vision STV Nova Tank System and the new SmokTech Double Barrel cartomizer took up most of my week.  After using tanks and clearomizers with wicks for the past several weeks I had thought that the days for cartomizers were numbered, or at least they were numbered in my vaping world. Perhaps I was too hasty, the Double Barrel delivers as good a vape as a wicked tank or clearo, most of the time.

The Double Barrel Cartomizer that I obtained from MyVaporStore (the official vendor for Spinfuel by the way) has been called a gimmick by some people in the vaping community, but after using it in a myriad of setups I don’t think it is. You can read my review for more information on it here. It’s a great way to discover new flavor combinations or to get a great vape going using batteries normally reserved for tanks. Yes, it looks ‘gimmicky’, and you just know that someone is going to take it further by making a triple barrel, a quad-barrel, and so on, but for now I’m enjoying the Double Barrel quite a bit.

If you’ve tried the Double Barrel I’d love to know how you liked it or didn’t like it.

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Flavor Combinations

I tried some flavor combinations when I worked on the review and during my own time I tried some others. I am intrigued with the possibilities of a double-cartomizer device and since I had a bunch of cartos lying around I figured I’d play with them in my own time.

The first combination I tried was using Mountain Oak Vapor’s Cinnamon Swirl and Mt Baker Vapor’s Cinnamon Roll. I love both of these flavors by themselves and when you load up two cartos and attach them to the Double Barrel you get a completely new cinnamon flavor somewhere between a candy-like cinnamon and a cinnamon Danish.  It tasted quite good but I don’t think it will be something I do on a regular basis. I enjoy both flavors by themselves a little too much to bother with setting up two cartos with two different cinnamon flavors all the time.

Feeling more than a little daring I put together something I thought wouldn’t work at all, using The Plume Room’s Banana Pudding (a flavor that tastes exactly like you’re eating a bowl of banana pudding.) and Ginger’s eJuice Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookie. I tried this combo just to see if the flavors would stay intact or combine into something altogether different, at this point it didn’t matter if the overall taste was awful or pleasant, I just wanted to take it to the extreme.

The combination turned into a very strange but enticing banana-sugar flavor. The Old-Fashioned sugar cookie flavor is a sweet desert flavor, while the banana pudding isn’t an overly sweet flavor. What the combination did was create a really sweet version of some kind of banana flavor. Interesting, but not great. I won’t be doing it again.

I experimented with others, some were pretty good and some were certainly ruined by trying to combine them. It was like combining broccoli with French fries; both are good by themselves but you really don’t want to wrap French fries around a stalk of broccoli and take a bite.

The best use of the Double Barrel for Vapers is to take advantage of dual cartomizers by loading them both up with a single flavor and enjoy the heavy vapor production.  One person I spoke to said he got an amazing vape using the Double Barrel on a ZMAX set to 3.6v. My experience using the ZMAX at 3.6v didn’t produce the same level of vape that my friend talked about but it was certainly better than using a single cartomizer.

Vision STV NOVA Tank System

What I really enjoyed this week was the new Vision STV Nova Tanks. I got ahold of three of them from MyVaporStore so I was able to load all three with three of my favorite flavors. I reviewed the tank here.

It’s been a few days since that review and they are still hard at work providing me tons of flavor and plumes of vapor with the original 2.4-ohm atty head. Well, except one of them. I had a bit of an issue this week with the ZMAX, seems the “wattage” was set way too high and I must of singed the wick on the original 2.4-ohm head. I swapped that head out with a 2.8-ohm and everything’s fine now. (The tank comes with three heads, 1.8, 2.4 and 2.8 ohms.) I don’t detect a huge difference between the two heads though, but then I wasn’t trying to. I’m just enjoying vaping with these tanks in my own time and for my own enjoyment. It’s really nice to be able to swap out a tank with a different flavor whenever I wanted to.

My plan, after Christmas, is to stock up on these tanks so that I might be able to keep a dozen or more tanks full with my favorite flavors and be able to switch them out at a moments notice. There’s nothing like the ease and simplicity of switching out eLiquid flavors by switching out the tank. The three that I have are all blue (a beautiful shade of light blue), so when I do stock up I’ll make sure to get the other available colors, red, black, silver (gray), and perhaps develop a color-coded scheme to the flavors; blue for all-day flavors, red for sweet, silver for dry or tobacco, and black for fruity/drink flavors, something that allows me to make a change to another flavor even faster.

The eLiquids

We weren’t working on an eLiquid review this week so all week long I’ve been vaping the flavors in my own collection. I don’t have any rhyme or reason for the flavor choices, it was more like “what do I feel like vaping right now?” kind of thing. The flavors I spent the most time with this week were Ginger’s eJuiceOld-Fashioned Sugar CookieHot Cocoa, and Strawberry Shortcake (yum!). I also spent time with Mountain Oak Vapor’s White Leaf thanks to John’s generosity, and Heavenly 7. There was also French Vanilla by FanceeJuice and Boston Cream Pie by Prime Vaping. In the beginning of the week my all-day vape was the Cinnamon Roll by Mt Baker Vapor and then Thursday Friday and Saturday was the Mountain Oak Vapors White Leaf and another new one that John shared with me called “Peppermint Bark”. Excellent flavors and I plan to buy them both and keep a stock of them in my collection. I don’t often add a flavor to my personal collection so if I tell you I did you can bet I liked it quite a bit.

Batteries

I got used to swapping out batteries all the time because of the eLiquid reviews and this habit has carried into my personal vaping as well. This week I was vaping with the Bolt, the Lambo 4 and the ZMAX, all from MyVaporStore. In addition I spent several hours with a 510-thread mini-battery from Vaporetti. That small battery does a heck of a job. I used the Vaporetti every time I went out to do errands. Because of its long, thin white shape it doesn’t draw any attention from the people around me.

I’m still enjoying the heck out of the Bolt, and I imagine I will for some time to come. During my review period with the Telescope, one of the new devices we received from MyVaporStore as well, I was reminded of the Bolt because both are simple mechanical devices.  And while the Telescope is a nice, sturdy, mechanical device I still prefer the Bolt. I think one of the reasons I like this particular Bolt is because MyVaporStore includes the extension piece on their Bolts so the Vaper can use an 18650 battery with it and can vape for a couple of days on a single charge.

Nicotine Step Down – Yay!

This week I also made the change I’ve wanted to make for a while with respect to the Nicotine levels in my eJuice. Several months ago I was vaping with 2.4% nicotine and then about 3 months ago I backed that down to 1.8%. This week I went to 1.2% to .8%. This spread of nicotine strengths is due to the brands of eLiquid I chose to vape. Some brands don’t offer 1.2% strength and others don’t offer a .8%. There are no ‘standards’ yet on nicotine levels.

What I hope to do is go down to the lowest nicotine level by the end of March 2013. I’m not looking to go to zero nicotine at all because I enjoy the stimulating effect of nicotine (like I enjoy my morning coffee), but it would be nice to get to the low end of the nicotine levels so that I can vape more without having to worry about getting too much nicotine in my system. I’ve done that a few times, especially when I discover a great flavor. I find it difficult to stop vaping when I find a great new taste and I’ll wind up with a headache when I ‘overindulge’. When I get to the lowest nicotine level I won’t need to worry about it. I hope.

Odds and Ends And A Deep Blue Funk

Everybody here is pretty focused on the holidays and what’s coming for Spinfuel in the new year. Well, at least we were until Friday. As soon as we heard about the slaughter of innocent children in Newtown CT we were just numb, and stayed that way all weekend. We couldn’t concentrate, we couldn’t write, Dave and Jon couldn’t write a line of code either. We just felt like staring out the window. It was eerily strange. Each of us felt the same kind of numb, “too big to process” feeling. A crazed lunatic with an insane bent to kill his parents and anyone else he saw murdered these children ten days before Christmas. How do you process this information and not feel overwhelmed with grief and a sense that the world is coming apart at the seams?

In any case, after several futile attempts at trying to get something done we just called the weekend work off and let ourselves try to feel what we must have all been feeling deep inside. Fewer words were never spoken in our community home the entire time we’ve lived here.

Even though we were all in a deep ‘funk’ about the evil committed in Connecticut we did manage to spend time on getting all our personal vaping stashes organized and inventoried. For the first time in many weeks I got a handle on just how much eLiquid I have and what I need to get more of. Its frustrating thinking you have plenty of one flavor and when you go to fill a tank or a clearo you find out you don’t. You get your mind made up that a tank of Pineapple Upside Down Vape is just the thing you need only to find out that you ran out of it a couple of weeks ago. So, taking inventory of your personal stash is important.

I’ve also been getting emails from several eLiquid companies letting me know that if I expect an order of juice to arrive in time for Christmas I best get going or they won’t be able to deliver. So I pass this information along to you as well; get your orders in early this week, by tomorrow or Wednesday by the latest (I would imagine). In fact, because so many brands make their juice as the orders come in there isn’t a lot of time to allow them to steep at home. Some brands are fine to vape the minute you get them and others need to be steeped. Keep that in mind. I wish I had.

Till next Monday!

Julia Barnes

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About The Author

All original content is written and produced for our readers by the Spinfuel Staff, and the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team. The writing staff includes Julia Hartley-Barnes, Keira Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, and Dave Foster. Spinfuel also publishes guest contributors on occasion, including Pascal Culverhouse. All original content is protected by US copyright laws.

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16 thoughts on “Vaping … My Week in by Julia Barnes”

  1. SirVapesAlot is a new handle I took up this weekend. I also bought the domain name sirvapesalot.com. Don’t know what I’m going to do with it but for 99 cents what the heck.

    I live in the Vegas area and spend many hours in the casino’s. I am always talking with analog users about my vaping Adventure. I have put together a word doc I send them with my recommendations. I am putting in a link to spinfuel and suggesting that they come to your location for reviews, etc.

    I look forward to your weekly column. I find it fascinating to get an incite into the journey of someone who “Lives” the business.

    I have already spent about $300 on equipment for myself, and my wife. I have given some starter kits as birthday gifts.

    I think I am standardizing on the Vision Spinner (I just love how the the VV
    enhances the flavor of my juices) Down side is the 7 second shut off but there is always a down side, isn’t there? I use the Viva Nova 3.5ML (Juice Box)(My terminology) with a 2.4 atty and it seems to work very well for me.

    I read all the reviews on Vmax, Vamo’s Provari, etc, etc. but there are so many enhancements coming up like the eVic that I’m backing off equipment and investing in juices. Trying to get my rotation in line.

    Not sure if your interested in where I’m at in my adventure but most of the juices I purchase are because of the reviews you folks put out. Cinnamon Roll from MBV is my daily vape now.

    You folks provide a wonderful insight into this new world I stepped into. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your column next week.

    Sir Vapes Alot

    PS:
    From an old guy. It is with a heavy heart that I wonder how something like the tragedy that happened last Friday could have ever happened. I am a firm believer that we can find something positive in even the worst of situations.

    Right or wrong it’s what helps me to reset my compass.

    For some it might be that we may come to some type of agreement on selling those type of weapons? Limiting the amount of ammo in a magazine? I really don’t know because there a two sides to that argument. Life goes on and we deal with it.

    All I can say is that I hope this finds everyone in the best of health and spirit and that your compass can be reset in a short period of time.

    1. Great comment! Thank you for taking the time to post. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your adventure as well. Take care and thanks for your perspective on the killing of the children. I think I’m even ready to talk about more gun control of some kind, and more help to the mentally ill community at large. – Julia

      1. Sounds like you might be a little right winger like me.

        Several years in the Marine Corps, in the late 60’s, so did my tour.

        Don’t own a gun. Don’t want to have one.

        I do firmly believe in the constitution so have some very mixed emotions about this.

        I’m sure we will evolve.

        For me my mission is helping anyone I can to live a healthier and hopefully a happier life away from analogs.

        “Hang in there Baby” (I will revert to 60’s sayings when the apply)

        Chuck

  2. Awesome read, thanks Julia! Glad your enjoying your Vivi tank. I really like mine and use them on a regular basis. The Zmax’s do put out more power than they say they do, this has been noted on several occasions with meters/oscilloscopes. You may have blown the coil on your original head but I don’t believe you burnt the wick. The wicks in the Vivi heads are made with silica and its a very robust material, one of the most liked things about it is that you can do dry burns on it to clean the coil and it wont burn. As a matter of fact rinsing out the tank/head then doing a series of small dry burns is how people myself included keep these heads running good as new for months on end. I myself have been using this one 2.4 head for almost 6 weeks now!! Also grats on stepping your nic down yet again!!

    Chuck, I enjoyed reading your comments, thanks! I’m glad vaping is working out for you, thanks for serving and Semper Fi brother!!

    1. Thanks for the atta boy.

      I would like to understand better your comment about the wick & coil. I would think the coil is the little metal part wrapped around the wick? I do a dry burn on my units when I clean them. I watched a UTube demo on how to clean a Vivi Nova from Pete Bassario?

      Where I am having problems is with my mini Vivi. The 1.8 ML size. I have only been able to find 1.8 heads here in Vegas and after I do the dry burn and then put juice in I don’t get any burn at all.

      I am checking my Voltage during the burn and after I put the juice in.

      I want to make sure I’m not pushing too much power to the 1.8.

      Any ideas? Do you know where I can order the flat head 2.4 OHM units for the mini? The last time I ordered on line they sent me the dipped head 2.4 OHM for the 3.5 ML Vivi. I can always use those but would like to start with a 2.4 for the Mini so I can use those as test juice units.

      Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give me.

      Semper Fi

      1. Hey man, I’m a little confused by what you mean by “flat head” and “dipped head”..
        As long as you are using real Vision Vivi Novas, there are some knock offs but if you buy from a trusted e-cig retailer then they are usually honest about them being a fake. Anyway as long as you bought one of the newer genuine Vivi’s the heads between the mini and large tank are the same.
        After you do the dry burn after cleaning are you saying you get nothing after? Keep in mind when the coil is wet it should not glow red. If your not doing a dry burn the coil should never be red. Also when you do a dry burn you want to make sure its quick. So power the coil and as soon as it turns red let off and I usually blow on it at the same time. Then repeat until you have a nice clean coil.
        Are you a member on our forums here at SpinFuel? I respond much faster there than I do check these blogs, but I will check this one for the next few hours for ya.
        Let me know Marine! 🙂

        1. To answer your question about my dry burn. I take the rubber top off the coil and wash the wicks and center post where the coil is. I dry the wicks as best I can and then blow out any water that may be in the center post. I dry every metal part before I put the unit back on the battery. I then start the burn and blow away the smoke that comes up from the center post. I do this in spurts and if I see the coil turn red then I back off immediately. I will hit it one more time just to make sure it is clean and that the coil turns red.
          I then put the rubber top piece back on and place the tube on.
          I have had several units where I have done this and then placed juice in. When I click on the battery I get nothing. No burn No vapor. It’s like it is no longer burning???

          1. Thats very odd, but when you attach another head it fires right up correct? So there is a definite connection between the battery and the tank? If you are sure that the head is screwed in all the way the only thing I can think of is that you are blowing the coil during your dry burn. I’ve done many dry burns and never had that problem, I have even been using this one head for 6 weeks now. What voltage were you dry burning the 1.8ohm head at, if it were 4v+ you may have popped it, it doesn’t take much to bust a low resistance coil at high voltage. Honestly thats the only reason I can think of if it just stopped working like that.

          2. It’s possible I had it too high when using the EGo C twist because I get confused on which way you turn it up or down. That’s why I do it with my Vision Spinner now because I can see the settings better. Usually do the 1.8 at about 3.7 Volts.

          3. Ya, it is possible that it popped, even if you were doing the dry burn right. Sometimes it just happens for any number of reasons. From what I gather from what you’ve told me though, your doing everything right. Be sure to check out my other post I reposted for you about where you can get some Vivi heads.

          4. Also I answered your other questions but I think my response is waiting for moderation because I placed a link in it ill paste it here without the link for you:
            I forgot to mention to go ahead and let me know where you bought your Vivi tanks from so I can take a look and make sure they are the real deal. My guy Tim @ VaporBeast (just google it) has 5 packs for $16 shipped, he’s a good guy and always ships same day. Be sure to select the resistance you want from the menu before you order.
            Phill B. (the vid you watched) is a well respected reviewer in our community as well and I have seen that video and can assure you everything you watched is the right way to do it.
            Again, let me know bro.
            Matt.

      2. I forgot to mention to go ahead and let me know where you bought your Vivi tanks from so I can take a look and make sure they are the real deal. My guy Tim @ VB http://www.vaporbeast.com/product_p/c32.htm has 5 packs for $16 shipped, he’s a good guy and always ships same day. Be sure to select the resistance you want from the menu before you order.
        Phill B. (the vid you watched) is a well respected reviewer in our community as well and I have seen that video and can assure you everything you watched is the right way to do it.
        Again, let me know bro.
        Matt.

  3. Since I quit analogs 3 months ago I’ve been using 12% nic in all my juices. Seems to work good for me. I even tried some 6% juice from halo (cafe mocha – yummy) and it was fine. I do notice however if I go higher than 12% it just doesn’t feel right. Just got my sample pack from ginger’s and all the juices are 16%. I didn’t think the 4 points between what I normally vape and the samples would be a big deal but it was. Felt kinda harsh to me. Great flavor but harsh.

  4. I really enjoyed this article. I am new to vaping and I really loved to read about the juices you are using. I would like to read more but I can’t find any of the follow ups.

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