Tips & Terminology
Extra throat hit
Vapor liquid manufacturers do not rely on nicotine alone to provide throat hit. They also use additives, substances like alcohol, cinnamon, citrus (lemon, lime), menthol and capsaicin (the chemical that makes chili peppers taste hot). You’ll generally find at least one of these substances in any vapor liquid that is low in nicotine content.
Not only will each flavoring manufacturer have different flavor profiles, so will each flavor. The general range of flavor ratio in any mix can range from 5% to 20%. That can make it quite a challenge (and expensive) to try new flavorings. If you are working on a new recipe and trying to conserve as much time and costs as possible, here's an effective strategy. When you are making a new recipe, make it in small quantities – and without nicotine. Nicotine is the most expensive ingredient and has no impact on flavor at all, leave it out until you get to the right flavor percentage. My method is to make four 5 ml batches. They will all be at different flavor percentages: 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%. I will then sample each of those. What happens is that I will end up with the perfect percentage in one of those four, or two of them will be close. Here's an example of the latter. Let's say that I find that 15% is just a bit weak, and 20% is just a bit much. If you take equal amounts of 15% and 20% into a new container, you'll end up at 17.5% ... try that, and you'll likely have the perfect ratio.
Combine 5% and 10% together in equal amounts, and you end up with 7.5%. Combine 10% and 15% in equal amounts and you end up with 12.5%.
One note: if you need more than 20% flavor in your mix to get satisfaction, get rid of the recipe.
Mixing containers and accessories
You should be aware that most of the ingredients used in vapor liquids have "solvent" properties. As solvents, they can have reactions with many plastics and some metals. The "solvent" properties will not likely damage the plastics, but you cannot rely on the taste of recipes you are working on unless you are certain no leeching is taking place (of plastics or metals). Unless you are thoroughly familiar with the profiles of the diluents, flavorings, and additives you are using, you need to use glass for your containers and stirring.
Tips & Terminology
Borosilicate Glass. A type of glass that is more resistant to thermal shock and chemicals. Most vapor liquid manufacturers use measuring and mixing containers made of borosilicate glass.
Beaker. A beaker is like a measuring cup but without the holding handle. They are round with a flat bottom and most have a pour spout. You can get them in various sizes and with or without graduations (the amounts). Beakers have a wide open top and are used for mixing, stirring, and heating liquids. Most are made of borosilicate glass.
Erlenmeyer Flask. These are also mixing containers, but have a narrower cylinder top with a triangular flared shape at the bottom. These are best used as a replacement for stirring, they can be used in a circular motion to mix the contents without inserting anything into the ingredients for stirring. Most are made of borosilicate glass.
Blunt Needle Syringe. These are inexpensive syringes used in food and recipe preparation. Common sizes for vapor liquid recipes are from 0.5 ml to 20.0 ml. Look for syringes that have a fine graduation scale that is "upside down", that is the numbers on the graduation scale are readable when you have the tip pointing away from you and the numbers starting near the tip and incrementing towards the top. The "blunt" portion means that the tip of the needle is blunt and not sharpened ... this is not for penetrating skin (or anything else), and a sharpened tip is not needed. You should also note that there are various "guages" or diameters for the needle part. It is important that you match the guage to the diluent you are using. For PG based, you will want 16 to 20 guage. For VG based, you will want 14 guage (perhaps 16 guage). The reason for this is that VG is thicker (lower viscosity) than PG – with a finer guage (higher number) needle, you will be struggling to get the VG into the syringe.
Do you need gloves? If you are mixing for personal use, it really depends on the strength of the source nicotine. Nicotine is absorbed into the skin quite fast. Once you get above 36 mg/ml of nicotine, you should wear nitrile gloves ... you can get these at most hardware stores or pharmacies. Typically they cost about 10 cents each in boxes of 100. In a manufacturing setting, wear gloves for both the mixer's protection and to provide a sanitary product to your buyers.