File under Fun With Concentrates

Fun With Concentrates – Down The Rabbit Holes Begins

“Fun with concentrates – I continue to find new eLiquid flavors from varying brands that are absolutely delicious, but for some reason I seem to be drawn to coconut and pineapple. There is something in those flavors that speak to me. Luckily just about every brand of eLiquid offers a few concoctions made with pineapple and/or coconut, so I’m never without something delicious to vape.” — This was, and remains, the basis for my decision to create my own signature version of eLiquid made using coconut and pineapple – Fun with Concentrates.

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Fun with concentrates – Because I wanted my signature juice to be unique and special, and something utterly delicious, I decided to add another flavor to the mix that I believed would add that special “something”. I decided to use vanilla as my ‘secret flavor’. I thought it was an inspired decision, and I had hopes that it may yet turn out to be just that. But oh did I ever open up a house a pain with that decision.

Tic Toc —  REM

Red Label eLiquid TWArmed with a couple of hundred milliliters of eLiquid ‘base’, I loaded up on empty 5ML and 10ML bottles, again from the gracious people at Totally Wicked eLiquid. (Did I mention that they are the sole sponsor of this little experiment?) I was also stocked up with their coconut, pineapple, and vanilla Gold Standard concentrates. It can be assumed that I was ready to discover my magnificent eJuice. Fun with concentrates

It was decided that the flavor ratio I would work with, in the beginning anyway, was 15%. That meant that when using a 10ML bottle I would fill 85% of the bottle with my ‘base’ solution and play with that 15% with various amounts of my 3 concentrates. e Liquid Concentrates

First Wave

Lining up 10 empty bottles, each 10ML in size, I filled each bottle with 212 drops of base solution, leaving me 38 drops of concentrate to experiment with. (Using the Totally Wicked nicotine solution’s glass eyedropper, 25 drops represents 1ML) Easy enough.eliquid, ejuice, totally wicked, pg, vg, nicotine

Without knowing much about coconut and pineapple concentrates I thought the best way to approach my first recipe was to apply equal ‘flavor strength’ to both coconut and pineapple. I also decided that the vanilla ‘secret sauce’ would be kept to about 3%. The math worked out to be:

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Out of the 38 drops remaining: Fun with concentrates

18 Drops each of coconut and pineapple, along with 2 drops of vanilla. This would be my first recipe in Bottle #1. From there I would take the remaining 9 bottles and distribute the drops accordingly.

Bottle #2 – 16 drops of coconut, 20 drops of pineapple, and 2 drops of vanilla.

Bottle #3 – 14 drops of coconut, 22 drops of pineapple, and 2 drops of vanilla

Bottle #4 – 12 drops of coconut, 24 drops of pineapple, and 2 drops of vanilla

 

Bottle #5 – 20 drops of coconut, 16 drops of pineapple, and 2 drops of vanilla

Bottle #6 – 22 drops of coconut, 14 drops of pineapple, and 2 drops of vanilla

Bottle #7 – 24 drops of coconut, 12 drops of pineapple, and 2 drops of vanilla

And you can see where this is headed… My recipes would change, 2 drops at a time, until the 10 bottles were full. At that time I would take the properly labeled, properly sealed bottles and place them in our properly dark supply cabinet and allow them to properly steep…properly.eFun with concentratesI would begin tasting the eJuice after 72 hours by applying the ‘drip’ method. Once I have tried all 10 I would place them back in the cabinet for another 72 hours. Naturally, I kept copious notes on each bottle.

I steeped for a total of 6 days, ran 3 drip vapes, and then made a decision.e Liquid Concentrates

What I learned

I learned that coconut was a stronger flavor than pineapple. Coconut gave a stronger throat hit. Pineapple was silky, smooth, and just a tad less sweet. Now I was beginning to learn the characteristics of each of the two flavors and I thought that was rather cool of me.

But what of vanilla?

At this point I could not yet decide how to play my vanilla card. Since I had learned that coconut was the dominant flavor I would need to set up another 10 bottles, using my ‘base’ solution, and try again. Fun with concentrates

In order to see if I could catch a glimpse of where I was headed with these concentrates I decide that I would up the flavoring to 20% and allow the vanilla to represent 5% of the flavor. This would tell me how the vanilla will perform in future recipes. Fun with concentrates

The new math was: 80% base, 20% flavor. For a 10ML bottle it would be 200 drops of base solution, 50 drops of concentrates. This broke down to 12 drops of vanilla, 18 drops of pineapple and 18 drops of coconut if all things were equal. They were not.

I allowed coconut a handicap of 5 drops. This meant that my first bottle would be as such; 12 drops of vanilla, 23 drops of pineapple, 15 drops of coconut.

Each subsequent bottle would decrease by 2 drops of coconut until I reached a ratio of 6 drops coconut, 32 drops pineapple, and 12 drops vanilla. Then I would reverse it.

And on and on and on… down the rabbit hole I went.  Fun with concentrates

I kept playing the numbers in my head, all the while I was steeping bottle after bottle, continuing to experiment with different recipes hoping that finally, one of them would yield the magic formula. None of them did. So I tried again. And again. And again. Fun with concentrates

Afterwards I began to rethink the whole vanilla equation. I would ditch the vanilla completely for a series of 10 bottles, and then the next time I would double the vanilla to 10% of the flavor. Instead of dropping my recipes down by 2 drops each I went to 1 drop each. Now different recipes, equations, percentages were flying around my heads like cartoon birds, and I was getting plenty anxious. Fun with concentrates

Every couple of days I would mix up a new batch of ‘base’ solution. I would try new, convoluted, ways of developing a ratio that would work. Once I had depleted every known configuration I could think of I changed up the base solution to 80/20, then 60/40, then 50/50, and for each change in base solution meant running through the concentrate recipes all over again… I kept ordering more supplies, more bottles, more everything…

Once I was as deeply, and forever, into the rabbit hole as I could possibly get I turned over all responsibilities of Spinfuel to Julia and kept myself locked up in my office mixing juice, always mixing juice…

My life turned into one big blur of mixing, dripping, mixing, dripping, until all I could see was 10ML bottles of failed recipes stacked or littered all around the office, large bottles of PG and VG strewn all about in haphazard ways, nicotine solution bottles stacked on every bookshelf, dozens of batteries, hundreds of cartomizers, handfuls of atomizers… I was neck deep in it and all I could think of was that I would somehow, someway, nail down the recipe or die trying…Fun with concentrates

All I wanted was ONE SINGLE RECIPE!

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Then my musical alarm went off. Loudly… I opened my eyes and glanced at the clock on the wall. 4:00AM…

…It was all a dream…

…I had slipped down the rabbit hole, and came back to tell about it.

A Proper Ending

I started ‘Fun with Concentrates’ because I wanted to learn how to mix up my own eJuice, because I thought it would be fun. And it was for a while. Right up until I decided that finding that one, special, unique, signature blend of coconut and pineapple, with a secret ingredient of a touch of vanilla that no one would see coming…

…”I’ve always had a problem with hubris”…Fun with concentrates

…That was the mistake. There is NO magic recipe. There is NO one perfect eLiquid. They are ALL perfect, and they are ALL flawed.

DIY eLiquid is a hobby.

A hobby that is to be enjoyed on the merits. It is not a hunt for the perfect vape; it is a creative outlet, nothing more. Nothing less.

The Moral of This Story

I have since given up my quest to find the perfect coconut/pineapple/vanilla eLiquid. From here on out I will celebrate each and every blend I make as something unique…to me… I will either enjoy it, or toss it, but I will never fret over it.

Sure, there are many artists out there making incredible eLiquids, and once an a while I may accidentally create one myself. But that is no longer my focus. Fun with concentrates

We all need more fun in our lives, and this will be one of the ways in which we can all enjoy ourselves. But after my trip down the rabbit hole I will never again worry about that elusive, magical recipe that will yield the most amazing eJuice. I’ll leave that up to the pros.

John Manzione

Next Week on “Fun with Concentrates” – The Gold Standard and what it means to you.