A long long time ago in a time when there was very little-known knowledge around vaping and limited choice there were pioneers. Sure, it’s true that humans have put Man on the moon, invented penicillin and created the silicon chip among just a few incredible life changing events in history in the late twentieth century. Yet we also discovered that smoking wasn’t so good for our health in this period to. In 2003 Hon Lik patented an electronic cigarette. A Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik experimented with several different methods of vaporization before deciding to use a high frequency, piezoelectric ultrasound-emitting element to vaporize a pressurized jet of liquid containing nicotine. His invention started being mass produced in China the following year. If it wasn’t for this second generation vape and excellent marketing vaping may not be a thing yet & even worse there may have been well more than the predicted one seventh of the world population die from a tobacco smoking related illness. As history has taught us we humans are an inquisitive bunch. We like to adapt to change to survive and some of us love to pull things apart down to the final spoke in the wheel to learn how they work. So how does one become interested in DIY eLiquid creation that goes into a vape and why has a massive multimillion-dollar industry begun out of this component of vaping?
Recently I caught up with a lovely lady that has been mixing her own eLiquid for over 9 years to try & learn more.
Me: Hi Cathy, What other methods did you try to quit smoking before vaping?
Cathy: Nic Inhaler. Also this was my 2nd shot at vaping. First try was way back when all there were was cigalikes and you dripped into the filter section, that didn’t last long.
Me: Have been mixing your own eLiquid for around 9 years now?
Cathy: Around about. I started vaping almost 10years ago and quickly learned things like pg, high nic and certain flavors give me headaches, plus I vape 100+MLS a day so store bought juice was a no go
Me: Wow I never realised DIY was a thing back further than around 6 years ago, tell me more please?
Cathy: Sure, I diy a bit differently than most. I use ratios of flavor:flavor then mix the total at a certain %. When testing new recipes this method is best as all I do is take 30mls water and put x drops flav1 and y drops flav2 stir and sip. This tells me how it'll taste and keeps me from wasting ingredients. It's a method taught to me early on by someone on a fb diy group.
Me: What was the flavour that enticed you to stop smoking can you recall?
Cathy: I do remember a banana pudding or bread by plume veil. But it was expensive, and I went through a 30ml bottle in no time
Me: was that expensive at the time say in comparison to eliquids you buy these days?
Cathy: I don’t know I haven't bought premade juice since I started diying
Me: What sort of flavours do you like the most?
Cathy: I mostly like fruit & cream I make a killer raspberry cream, peaches&cream and blueberry cream. Also have a good caramel apple
Me: what would you suggest to anyone these days who are thinking of starting diy?
Cathy: The ratio method is much easier to use when testing flavor combinations
Me: so as in maybe trying a cream at 2% & a strawberry at 1% together and then trying again at say 4% cream to 2%strawberry and so on?
Cathy: No, no %s! I take 30mls of water and add x drops flav1 and y drops flav2 then stir&sip. Once you get the right ratios replace the unit "drop" with mls. So say you figure 2:3 then it would be for every 2mls of flav1 you put 3mls flav2 then mix the total flavorings at a set %
Me: oh wow thats an interesting technique.
Me: It was taught to me by someone who'd been mixing longer than me The guy was on a fb group called DIYworld. It still exists but is pretty silent these days
Me: do you mainly stick with a particular brand (s)?
Cathy: Only use TFA flavors
Me: what would be your top 5 favourite TFA flavours?
Cathy: my top flavors from tfa are raspberry, juicy peach(dx), dx Bavarian cream, apple and caramel candy
Me: Do you ever find that the flavor you vape is far different than what you first thought when you go to vape it? do you prefer MTL or DTL
Cathy: I like fairly open airflow. Every mix I've done the ratio drop way has turned out amazing
Me: Are you on ELR?
Cathy: What's ELR?
Me: ELR is e-liquid-recipes.com
Cathy: Oh never go on there, I just learn’t from the facebook group I’m in but sadly it’s pretty much dead these days.
Me: Cathy thank you so much for your time
Cathy: Thank you
As a mixer for only around 3 years now I find Cathy’s story so fascinating & intriguing yet with some very interesting lessons to learn around the art of eLiquid creation. We are spoilt for choice for not only the range of concentrates we have available to us now but also the amount of information available around DIY. To think if many people around DIY were to start from scratch with only one brand of concentrates and a basic ratio method of using drops in water as Cathy kindly explained, would you end up creating an all day vape for yourself successfully?
However, this is all she has known, and it has helped her continue to vape happily and economically. I think the moral of the story here is that DIY doesn’t have to get to complicated. We can keep it simple and still create as Cathy says a “Killer Raspberry Cream” or what ever floats our boat and keeps us off those dreaded stinkies. The other main thing I get from this short interview with Cathy is that without a supportive community as she found in a Facebook Group she may have never learned how to DIY. Sadly, as she says that group has faded away somewhat these days but she kindly accepted my invitation to join us on our DIY Dowunder Facebook group. I do hope she shares her “Killer Raspberry Cream” recipe with us. Regardless, as long as not only Cathy, but all of us can learn from each other and our experiences around DIY then we to can look forward to our next amazing recipe(s) that keep us off the stinkies for well over 10 years!
Thank you again Cathy & thank you for reading this far!
“Together, Let’s Discover!!”
Article Written, Researched & Produced by Pippa Starr