Help with Recipes, using math!

I have had a few people asking me, Smoky, just how do I put in my recipe to calculators like “ELR” so.. mini tutorial for you all.

First, I picked out a recipe from here, using my drops and grams, Butterscotch Pudding.

Here is the recipe for it, as I posted it on the butterscotch page:

 

Butterscotch Pudding 30ml

9 drops .18 grams Butterscotch
6 drops .12 grams Marshmallow
6 drops .12 grams Vanilla Pudding
3 drops .06 grams White Chocolate

Ok, so this is the heart of the recipe, where all the numbers are! Now what?

Head over to ELR and create a new recipe, like this:

Help
I added in all of my info. I don’t use nic, not often. and my base is all vg. So check that done. Enter your flavors, and recheck the recipe for butterscotch.

help

 

Using the numbers from the first flavor:
9 drops 9 drops .18 grams Butterscotch

I also added in, my drops are 50, to create 1ml. (You might want to measure yours out to see how many you get) No, all drops are not the same, however, I use the FLV bottles for my dropper tips and always come out on the right side of things.

EDIT: Thanks to my bestie vaper BonBon, she noticed and posted on the fb page:  It’s not showing up right on there. What you have to do is divide your drops by 3 so u can figure out how many drops per 10ml. Then take the drop amount and times it buy 0.2….0.2% equals 1 drop. So 9 drops dived by 3 equals 3. Then multiple that by 0.2 and you get 0.6…0.6% is what your percentage is for 9 drops in a 30ml.

So whatever your weight is, divide it by “3” to get your percentage.

It’s still a bit rough, but it should help you out a bit better to share the recipes you create to anyone needed.

 

 

 

Testing solo flavors

Testing solo flavors can be challenging! Only if you are unsure of a manufacture or a new flavor, you might find yourself wondering, how to come up with what kind of measurement.

First, lets chat on how:  volume (%) vs weight (g). Volume is pretty easy… measuring cups, syringes, oral measures, basically anything with linear markings. Weight is even easier, with a bonus with today’s digital scales.  While I just stated what the differences are, I won’t go much further into the technical, other than weight is more accurate and is the leading standard of measurement in most flavor labs.  This is what I hold to, and how I post my recipes here on site.

The #1 killer for me is not taking or losing my notes! I encourage everyone to document, record, keep track, how ever which way you want to, but do keep up with your notes in a safe manner. Remember, if it is online and on someone else’s site..  it’s easy to drop a database and those secret recipes are no longer hush hush! It is alright to post works in progress, but those recipes near and dear, keep them safe.

Drops! I do believe I have come full circle on the “drop” issue. Years ago, we were told, and even tho it does still hold true, not all drops are alike! I could pop up pretty images here of all different sized nipple tips, but it’s late tonight. I can say here with my flavors, and most other ultra concentrate companies, off we have in common, besides how strong our flavors are, is the tip! Yes I went there! flavorah’s tip size on their bottles is perfect. Each drop will weigh out to around .0178 and .0213 grams. To make it simple and with ease of use, without getting into specific gravitates etc., I do round mine up and down to a common number and it’s .02 grams per bottle drop. It’s really that easy! So you have choices here on if you want to just guess by using volume, or try to become as accurate as you can be. Oh the bonus, I did forget! Not much clean up, and no messy measuring tools! Your choice.

Now for finding out about your flavors. First, pick out a manufacture. Know where they “stand” in the flavor field. Are they a solo creator, or do they work with a major flavor house? Are they a private party, like myself working for a private lab, or do they have a field when they mainly use their flavors? Next, go on and snag a few flavors, take the plunge and pick things you personally would like to enjoy tasting. Stay with small sizes for now, so if you find you do not like the way they make strawberry, it wont be as big of a loss if you had gone bigger. Once you have it, then the next step is finding all your gear (scales, gloves, etc) and creating your “zone”.

Your “zone” area should be clean and neat, away from kids, pets, heat, dirt, etc., No electronics other than your scales (interference can happen).  The next step is finding out if you have a regular, super or ultra flavor. A general guide would be like this, using a 1 ounce bottle as example:

regular flavors(tfa/cap)      usage:  6g to  30g*
super flavors(FA)                usage:  .15g to  1.2g*
ultra flavors(NV/FLV/TS)    usage: .02g to . 1.2g*

*First, these are just general averages, second is my point is showing how these flavors do decrease, as the strength of the flavorings increase.  This is why I say, it pays to know your flavor maker! Moving along..

If you get a hold of Flavorah, and mind you, these are only my suggestions on my page, on my site.. this is how I recommend you to try these out. I realize not every one of us has resources to burn thru, nor have all sizes etc.. and you might find there might be a few flavors you will be tempted to “cut” or dilute. My views on dilutions.. don’t. Just no. Go larger and become better at accuracy. How I set mine up is I do what is called “runners” I run the flavors out in 10ml bottles, using 1 drop and building up. That averages out to around 15-20 10ml bottles holding 10ml, a total of 120ml per flavor run. I do 5 flavors at a time and I do not test all “strawberry” at one time. I stagger them with the 5 flavor varieties and jot my notes down.

Will I show images? No. Just like you value your privacy (or some do not) I do, and I have to abide by my lab’s rules as they wish to remain private.  I am sorry if I am letting anyone down, as that is not my intention, but I have to follow work rules, even tho this is my fan site for Flavorah, I am limited at showing off what I work with.

Your tastes matter, so does your choices in what and how you mix. I can only wish you lots of good luck!

Smoky.

Flavor Care, Take care of your flavors!

Here is my memo for today, on Flavor care.

Taken from one of my notes:

Every concentrated flavor is a mixture of raw materials, and every flavor blend can act differently. For example flavors that have a vanilla characteristic are going to have slightly different storage capabilities than fruit flavors. Here’s the reason : vanilla and caramel flavors are mostly made of large molecules like vanillin, ethyl vanillin , etc.; we call them compounds in a finished flavoring.

Whenever you open a bottle, it’s the lightest and smallest molecules that escape and reach your nose quickly. Over time when you open a bottle over and over again more and more proportion of these lighter molecules leave the bottle and eventually the character of the flavor will be changed. This doesn’t mean the flavors spoiled, it’s just different. So this is one piece of advice, if you are going to store a flavor for a long period of time, transfer the flavor to smaller bottles that will you will not have to open over and over again.

When a flavor is warm, like if it’s a hot day, when you open the bottle even more of the volatile molecules will escape, much more will escape than if the flavor was cool. This is true for all liquids, when liquids are heated the molecules are much more easily converted to their gaseous state. This is also the reason why you should not be “top off” on creating your juices, as they depend on the gases to help steep into your base mix.

HDPE plastic, is very resistant to interaction with the flavors.
However, even with HDPE plastic, I really wouldn’t recommend storing them for longer than a month or so.. It’s much better to store things long-term in glass, or PET bottles, and it is not a good idea at all to store the flavors with the plastic eyedropper caps on the bottles. The rubber that’s used with the eyedropper’s is extremely soft and interacts with the flavoring. Some Flavors can appear to eat into, and other flavors will demolish rubber dropper tops, depending on the compounds inside them.

I hope this helps in understanding how to manage your flavors, and as usual, any questions, just ask!

Flavor Pushing Zombies

This right here, is the best title for this post that I can even dream of, flavor pushing zombies, and more, oh my! Almost sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? Well, with this article I hope to do a lot of explaining, and would love it if I had some feedback on this, in any form!

On to this fine topic! First, let’s take a random flavor example: blueberry. (altho most of the ultras can be classified as zombie flavors, hang with me a moment!) You will need some supplies: 4 – 10ml bottles, FlV Blueberry, and of course, your favorite dripper (for tank use, triple the drop amounts, and use 30ml bottles).   Now, here is the project:

Mix #1
1- 10ml at 3 drops .06 grams Blueberry

Mix #2
1- 10ml at 9 drops .18 grams Blueberry

Mix #3
1- 10ml at 18 drops .36 grams Blueberry

Mix #4
1-10ml at 36 drops .64 grams Blueberry

Note

Allow them a quick 3 sec microwave burst, and shake really good. Set them aside for the next 2-3 days and then, only then, let’s do some sampling!

You will notice, at 3 drops .06 grams, there is a blueberry taste, but it’s a good light blueberry. (It’s only .06 grams, after all!) It could be a solid amount in a recipe used with other flavors, but the blueberry is there.  Now go find some coffee or crackers and take a 30 min break to make sure your mouth is reset on taste buds! Do some thinking on what you just tasted and some recipes you might could work with.

Now for the 9 drops .18 grams of Blueberry, it is a in your face, lushy blueberry, almost to the point of overload, but not right yet! The 10ml 9 drops is actually what i’d refer to as a flavor push, to push the flavor to the max used, without falling over and ruining the flavor or your mouth. It’s a fantastic solo flavor and doesn’t need much more other than maybe marshmallow for mouth feel, maybe if you like your blueberries sugary sweet, 2-4 drops of FLV Sweetness. This is definitely flavor pushing!

At 18 drops .36 grams in our 10ml bottle, the blueberry has become obnoxious! Definitely blueberry but I can pick up a good chemical spin taste, even when finger tasting. Absolutely guaranteed to give any flavor creator a bad rep from bad reviews about mixing too high.

Now for the highest one, 36 drops .64 grams, the chemical taste has toned down and almost out, leaving a fresh blueberry, juicy, with a hint of the stem area and skin, like it burst into your mouth and now your tongue is blue from doing way too much blueberries! This is the highest form of flavor pushing, and a big reason why I do not go over certain amounts with certain flavors. Sometimes it will not turn out alright (a few exceptions, like the vanilla custard and a few others). This is why I do mix by the drop, I teach others to mix by the drop and when you use more than the amount, you will notice a few things, flavor mutations, you get the flavor, but the other tiny parts that make up a flavor will get lost, or worse, flavor muting either after mixed or after a given time. when you use more than needed, you waste not only time, and money but it cheapens Flavorah, and honestly, less is more than you can dream of.  So go easy out there, it’s really like liquid gold.

I see so many recipes calling for 1% or 6% even one person claiming he used 13% of flv flavors and it had a throat hit, no wonder why! When if you play by my examples here, and keep in mind this one thing: 1 drop = .02 grams or! .02ml   the most I used here, the max was .64 grams or .64ml in a 10ml bottle. * Edit, the one I liked is equal to .18ml in our 10ml bottle, and it really is too high to be used in this way, as a solo, for me. I barely use blueberry in a 30ml with 9 drops, as a solo, with maybe marshmallow and a touch of sweet. Flavor pushing shouldn’t happen all the time, only the rare occasions.

I also term this as a “flavor zombie” as what happens with the compounds is that you push them into an area and they take over and can die (mute) and come back to life. There are thin lines these flavors of ours “walk” and I do not like to make zombie juice for myself or anyone else.

I hope to see a few others experimenting with Flavorah and make some public posts out there, I will see. I do not have accounts everywhere, but if it is public and I am cruising, I will see and laugh with you, promise! 🙂

This is the end of the tutorial for today, if I have some free time, I will upload more recipes soon! Keep a eye out! 🙂 S.

Steeping ultra concentrated flavors

Another subject I really need to touch on is how to steep, age or blend your eliquid/juice. I see all sorts of methods from shakers, frothers, ultrasonics and more. This is a big no, just do not do that. It is not needed! You can push ultra concentrates like Flavorah way too far and over do it. It will turn mushy or muddled, bland. However, I do have a solution, a work around, that helps without hurting the outcome. As long as you do not add your nic until last, this works every time. Ready for my trick?

It is… the microwave! (wattage depending!) You will want only a few second bursts, once you have your blend and your base together, without nicotine, for a 30ml. If you are using a 4 oz or larger, you want to increase the time, but do not get to crazy and boil it. For larger batches, just take it out and check if it is warm or still needs more time. The microwave I use is just an average one, at 1100watts, around 3-5 seconds, preferably in a glass or pet bottle. You are aiming for warmer than the skin on your wrist, but not hot to where it will melt the bottle or burn yourself. Then give it a good shake and let it cool down. How often to do this? maybe 2-3 times. No more than that, and let sit overnight. Then you can add your nicotine, and remember to shake it really well!! You will find the viscosity of the vg, if you use max vg, will change a touch, but that is fine! It will make helping the nicotine blend with the base so much easier and it speeds up the time it needs to become mature (steeping/aging/sit time).

Take my challenge, steep however you want, then do a blend mix like how I am explaining here. Test it out and see. I can promise, my custards are beautiful in just a few days, my juices are rich and just like they should be. With ultra concentrates, it really is a fun and pleasurable experience using them in the right way. Report back your findings, I’d love to hear if anyone else will try.

I will say what I have said for years too, time works wonders. If you do not agree with the  microwave method, at least leave the rest off and just try time. Most of Flavorah’s flavors, when mixed at the right amounts, only need a week at the most to become beautiful like they are meant to. Anything longer than this, chances are, you are just using too much.

How to work with Flavorah! flavors

What a title, eh? for this you will need just a pen and paper, for now. I will suggest snagging a scale from somewhere. The most popular one to work with tho, can be found on Amazon, or you can check out Ebay for any good deals. You might (or might not) need this later down the road.

Like my image here, I started out making a short list of flavors I like and that will go smooth together. I can add more, but for now these are the flavors I will work with. How so? By taking each one, and seeing where we like them. I will give, most people don’t like or want to do this, but it plays a very important part of finding out how the flavor works at what level, to know how to put a recipe together. Don’t just say ok I will use these at this amount. You won’t know what will go funky, or if it is too light doing it that way!  So get out some small bottles and try your hand.

The best way I have found is by using drops. Why? well a few reasons. Mixing by volume, rather than weight, is largely inaccurate. It might look like 2mls in a syringe, but unless you weight out 2mls, your syringe could be concave and look like this, with a curvature.

This will cause an inaccurate reading and will throw your recipe off, especially using ultra concentrates. I can’t stress it enough, be as accurate as possible. Don’t shoot the messenger, I have a fix for all of this.

By my tinkers, I have found by my scales, each drop is a confirmed .02 grams. I do not go by specific gravity of each flavor, but I can if I really want to become a tech nerd. Because my scales go beyond the normal range, mine go 3 places beyond the decimal point, specific gravities range from .0189 grams to .0213 grams. To make it easy on myself, I use .02 grams per bottle drop.  Here is what my scales look like, however, they are on the expensive side, as I picked them up from my lab.

ohaus-pioneer-analytical-balance

I do not suggest this one, if you are into creating juice as a hobby, the aws scales will suit better and cost way less.

So grab a few bottles, your flavors and your base (with or without nic), and get started. I normally run an average of 8 – 10ml bottles at a time, and 3-5 flavors, carefully marking how much flavor is in each one. I start with 1-2 drops (.02-.04 grams) and run up to 7 drops (.14 grams) per bottle. This way I have an idea on how the flavors will perform, and what to think on when I put my recipe together.

I give all my bottles at least a day to sit, as I have learned speed steeping can ruin flavors of this quality, vortex can actually over push them as well; sonics are definitely out! So what does that leave you? The microwave! Believe it or not, these flavors thrive on microwaves! Something about the compounds playing nice together after a quick 2-4 sec burst from the microwave, and a good handshake, make the process a bit faster. You only need to use the microwave a few times, each time, allow for it to cool back to room temp. The next day, not only finger taste test, but if you have a dripper, add a bit on there, and judge for yourself.

I find looking at recipes on line do a few things for me. #1 never take one serious. #2 we all taste things different, and because of those 2, and that famous expression: what I like you might not, will keep you going a long way. It’s fine to get ideas, but make it your own, do your own thing, and never mind what Mary did. Chances are, she might just be “off”.

Side note: If I missed anything here, let me know, will be happy to add more info to any of my tutorials. I hope these will help you to become a better mixer. S.

Discovery!

Not sure when your best thinking time is, but mine is early morning, or late night, when I can sit still and think or reflect on the happens that have gone on, and where I want to take the next step to discovery on flavors. When thinking on flavors and mixing, the entire world is your play ground, or at least that is my way of thinking. If I can dream it, it can happen! Or I fail big and end up laughing or crying over a flavor mess I have made. Either way, playing with flavors in general, is fun. When you can sit back and taste what you created, good or bad, it gives you a pointed direction, an aim or goal. Some recipes you might tinker with for very little time and they turn out fantastic and others, you work hard on, sometimes, months or years of revisions revamping, and that is the beginning of my tale here. I hope you enjoy it!

 

When talking discovery, finding your “level”, is very important. Knowing if you prefer light flavors over heavy, or dark, if you are a fruit person, or love tobaccos, and how about nuts and creams? The best way is to make a list first, write what you like, and what you don’t down into 2 columns. Get it all out and down on paper, so you can see where it is you stand, and the mini collections of flavors you have on hand. (Some of you might have more than others, and that’s alright too, we all start where we can!)  The biggest here, before beginning is research how long your flavors will last. With Flavorah! the average shelf life is between 1-2 years. So take this into some thought. With ultra concentrates, you really do not want to hoard, no matter how you try not to, it does happen! (That is because they are so good! I know!) I will not make this site about production and juice lines, just the flavors, for average mixers. A helper site. I am willing and open for a lot of discussions, so if you have ideas, use the contact, and drop me some mail! (I love fan mail, btw!) I digress, let me get back on track. Average user of these flavors will go thru roughly 15ml (or a quarter ounce) of flavor in a month. If you do not like repeat stocking, go larger. There are some resellers out there that will sell in 30-60-90ml bottles, if you request it. I hope this gives a good idea on how much and what you want to invest in, your tastebuds!

Will have to post up another bit later tonight, I have appointments today, and a few things to finish up on this afternoon. Till then, focus on the flavors you really love, and I will be back soon. Starting up a site like this is no ordinary adventure, and I am working backwards to get you all ahead of the flavor game! 🙂 S.