DIY or "Premiums"?

Discussion in 'DIY Flavours, Mixing, Recipes' started by rupert, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Location:
    NE NSW and SE QLD
    Not my words, but an interesting read from a great mixer, and something I think most DIY'ers will understand.

    So peep's, open up for debate, comment, agreement or disagreement?

    Im an avid DIY'er now, but I do also love my tried and true premixed (as well as Premiums). I can see both sides of this, but in Oz, we are more and more limited with over the counter purchases, which makes DIY a great option.



    Posted by Enyawreklaw on the diy reddit subform:

    Long post about something that bothered me recently. I sometimes see posts about people asking for juice, or asking for recommendations on what juice to buy. The post will usually go something like "Looking for a great banana cream flavor, any recommendations?". And then you would see a ton of comments from users exclaiming their love for their favorite juices and brands. And then you'll see a comment in the depths of the post saying, "so-and-so sells his DIY flavors and it's excellent...". In which the OP will then comment "not really looking to buy a DIY, looking for premium brands".

    I will then listen to various podcasts, and videos related to vaping, and often hear things such as "It's not some dinky DIY bathtub juice..." or "I would never buy a juice some guy makes in his basement". It goes on. There's countless posts and writeups about how DIY is of a lesser quality than these "premium" vendors. And that when you get into DIY it's because you're cheap and can't afford to pay for these vendors. It seems the general consensus from the mainstream vaping community is that DIY E-liquid is a means to someone who is broke, doesn't care about the quality of their product, and just wants a carrier for their nicotine fix. It seems the general consensus is that DIY e-liquid is inferior to these "premium" vendors and that you can never get the same quality from an at home mixer, than you can from someone paid to mix.

    This is simply not the case.

    In my recent video I talked about the ridiculous haul I brought back from the NJ Vape Expo. I came home with around 40 bottles of eliquid all from different vendors and juice makers. I was sure, that at least half of them I would like and were at least vapeable. But no...out of all the juice that were at my disposal, only about 6-7 were actually vapeable let alone good. What's good? Well to me, it's an ejuice that I can enjoy every time I go to vape it. There's no "adjustment period", there is no steep required, it's clean and not harsh, and it's overall just tasty. Enjoyable. We can get more into what's a good ejuice, as it's not really a simple answer, but the outcome should always be the same. A tasty and enjoyable flavor every time.

    So how is it that 85% of my juices do not fall into this category? How is it possible these companies spend thousands of dollars and then put out a product that isn't even vapeable? How is it possible a company with a fucking ISO 8 lab can put out something harsh and peppery? Is it me? Am I just too picky, or too pretentious to understand the profiles these companies are trying to get me to taste? Well I think I have an answer.

    Look at the critically acclaimed juice vendors that are out. Bombies, Vapor Chef, Adirondack, Labrat, Murdock. What do they all have in common? They were all juicemakers and mixers before they started a company. These were people who took the time and effort in finding new and exciting flavors that blend flawlessly with eachother. These were people who LOVED the act of mixing and the flavor of eliquids, and wanted to share this with their peers. They loved the mixing game more than they loved the actual industry. And they became successful because of this.

    Well recently, it's been the other way around. People see a "fun new market" and think of a "cool industry" to be apart of. So they think, how can we get into this market and make some money, and almost always they land on juice vending. It's easy, cheap, and EXTREMELY profitable. So what do they do, they spend thousands of dollars setting up a cool website, social medias, the coolest packaging, the most gimmicky marketing. They spend all this time and money trying to become the "coolest" vaping vendor. The absolute last fucking thing they think of is the actual taste and quality of their juices. I'm positive most of them go "hey lets mix this banana with this chocolate, for a banana chocolate" and then write an insanely inaccurate description of the product. "A deliciously creamy ripe banana infused with almond and pistachio on top of a warm home baked chocolate brownie". Nah you fucking idiot, you just mixed up LA Banana Cream and some shitty chocolate flavor. And the problem is, everyone just eats it all up. Vapers are the most easily swayed and gullible fuckers on the planet, and these companies are taking full advantage of this.

    The fact that these companies have pretty labels, and a popular Instagram, does not mean their product is in ANY WAY premium. It really pisses me off how this community, the DIY mixing community, is seen as a lesser and inferior sect of juicemaking. No, we don't have access to labs and clean rooms but there are tons of members here that are putting out STUNNING recipes, recipes that rival the likes of The Vapor Chef and The Vaping Rabbit. We make sure our flavors are mixed in as clean as an environment we have, and take necessary precautions to make a safe product and this is for our own consumption. There are members here getting into the deep chemistry of juicemaking posting their findings on how to further tweak base flavorings, or how to produce the cleanest nicotine. There are tons of members here who know the entire TFA flavor index like the back of their hand, and can mix up any concoction you throw at them. The people of this community are apart of this community because they love the act of juicemaking. We love finding what flavor profiles work together, or finding new and exciting ways to produce old classic flavors. We love creating new and invigorating eliquids for eachother and actually care about the quality of what we produce. There is no dollar attached to this obsession I have, I really love making a great eliquid, and passing the recipe on to others to have them enjoy it as well. If this was about profit, most of us would just keep quiet and start a fucking juice line. But we don't we share our findings with each other to benefit the scene we have created.

    The boutique flavor game started as a DIY movement from vapers sick and tired of the terrible products that were available. The OG's of the game found ways to create elqiuids themselves and shared the recipes on how to make them with each other. Once they realized how much fun and easy it was they figured they could sell them to help out the ex-smokers just getting into vaping who didn't really know how to mix themselves yet, or didn't have the time. People took note of the profitability and here we are today, again with a market flooded with terrible ejuice.

    Now I'm not blaming vapers, or juicemakers, or even the vendors, on the state of things. It's just what happens when something so profitable is so easy to produce. It's the nature of capitalism. I'm also not saying that there are no good ejuices out there, I'll be the first to admit I look up to some big name vendors and the products they put out. Some vendors really do care about their products and put out amazing fucking juices with phenomenal flavors and magnificent quality. And I'm not saying every recipe or flavor note that comes out of this community is great either. There are tons of terrible recipes I wouldn't even want my worst enemies to vape. What I'm trying to say is that I don't like when I see a DIYer's juice or recipe get minimized as someone who's product is inferior. I don't like when someone thinks that a "premium" ejuice is only something with a $1/ml price point. I especially don't like when I see this community get labeled as "broke" or "cheap". This community has given me a reason to keep vaping. This community produces some of the best content out there, and we need to understand this in order to continue to grow. Once you start mixing your own great recipes, you are a juicemaker, and you are just as much a "premium" as any Five Pawns bottle out there.

    This is all just my opinion on matter. I know some of you may disagree and to those people I say mix up some of our members' top recipes. I guarantee that you will be surprised of the result, and find that DIY eliquid mixing is a much more sustainable and enjoyable way to vape. Stop falling into the hype because all it is, is clever marketing and pretty disguises that cover up the lack of care that is taken when creating juices. Keep mixing, stay classy.

    TL;DR: Just because you mix your own juice, doesn't mean it's inferior to vendor "premiums"
     
  2. Aqualung

    Aqualung Vagrant

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Great article @rupert. I love to DIY, and was starting wonder if I was just a cheapskate, cos it is so cheap. But buying premium for special treats and only repurchase a couple.
    There are simply no absolutes, my taste is different to yours, my set up is different to yours.
    When my brother was vaping, we were both buying from Vapoureyes, and with almost 100% success, we swapped with each other the juices we didnt like. He loved most, those I liked least and vice versa. So its not just the mixer.
    On top of that, I mixed a Tribeca clone and hated it, then some time later resurrected my old Kayfun with a >1ohm coil and happily tootle puffed through the whole bottle. Same taster, same juice, hugely different experience.
    The only absolute is that there will be someone with the marketing savvy, who creates an artisan experience which the unwary will pay through the nose for, for the privilege of being able to say they have
     
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  3. laurie9300

    laurie9300 Photoshop Whore

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    This is a great read rupert! I have been watching this guys YouTube channel, DIY or DIE, and he definitely seems to know his stuff. I also saw an interview with him on Plumes. I have only just started my DIY journey, but I can see some immediate advantages.

    I started vaping with crappy Chinese pre-mixed juices, most of which I didn't like, but managed to massage some of them together to make stuff that was at least vapeable. From there I moved to Aussie doublers, some I liked, some not so much, some I loved! Then I had the opportunity to get some quality U.S. Juice, I was really excited, but then realised they weren't so different from the local stuff. And again it was a pretty even split between yuck, ok, and yum.

    The whole difficulty with juice is the subjective nature of taste. My yuck could be your yum. The big, no huge advantage of DIY is the ability to Taylor flavours to your own personal taste. Also, the community posting recipes, let's you choose mixes that you know you will like, as you can see the ingredients and their levels. You have a far greater chance of finding something you like than taking a point on "Autumn Sunrise" or "Camel's Sweat".

    As I said, I have only just begun, but with only 8 concentrates in hand, after getting a feel for the individual single flavour profiles, I have made 3, wildly different recipes, all of which I really like. I find them nicer than 50% of the juice I have bought over the last two years. This was quite a revelation!

    Personally, I mix in my kitchen, in the same area where I prepare my food. I adhere to the same standard of hygiene that I use for food. If we use food as a parallel, then knocking someone for being cheap and unhygenic for DIYing, would be equal to criticising them for preparing their own food. Not a valid point of view to me................
     
  4. Pippi

    Pippi Mother of Pudles

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    Jun 18, 2015
    Location:
    Victoria
    I recently started diying but so far have limited flavors I like. I also used a made in china juice for over 14 months, same order same juice, it got me off the cigs. recently I was in a Vape store and purchased a few premium juices from Loire and Gallery and Cosmic fog, the flavours were all too strong for me and I diluted them, but I have to say they are beyond divine and so much better than I can do... so far.
    I think I have a lot to learn, so far I have only perfected my ADV, which is a t-juice tobacco flavour.
     
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  5. Judith

    Judith Mostly harmless

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    Location:
    Tasmania
    I have tried RTV twice from USA companies to see if what I was mixing was crap but decided it wasn't so won't bother again. Maybe 10% were good, 20% were reasonable, 50% were vapable (after dilution) and 20% were rubbish. I also noticed that I seemed to wheeze more after using one brand. It might be because there is smoke in the air from woodfires but I think I am happier DIYing so I know exactly what is in it. I just mix on a table with vaper towels as a surface and nothing has grown in any of my liquids and that is the only thing I am concerned about. I haven't tried many Australian doublers since I started vaping because I find it easier to start from scratch since I have to do calculations anyway.

    I am not fussed as long as I am not smoking but it was inevitable that designer pretentiousness would turn up.
     
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  6. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    NE NSW and SE QLD
    Thanks all, I found it a great read (as were some of the responses on reddit.....) and thought it was of value.

    I agree @Aqualung there are no absolutes, which is what makes DIY such a great thing!
    Haha, my wife and I are similar, but with chocolates - we get a box of Roses, and all the ones I dislike, she loves :) Winning.
    Its funny how the palette changes too, I never thought I would be a fan of banana vapes, but I am really starting to love them now. Similarly with

    @laurie9300 I agree, he is a talented person. I have read reviews on his Bronuts recipe with a number of people saying its not crash hot, but the way in which he describes flavours for ingredients, and how he constructs profiles is to be applauded none the less.
    I have just amassed the concentrates from about 5 different vendors to make both the Strawberry Yogurts and Rhodonite mixes, so will post how they turn out once I have had a chance to mix them and test repeatedly :D :D :D

    Get ready @Ally :) Mixing is addictive in itself, and there are just more and more concentrate flavours to collect, it can become quite the hobby - and then there is the fun of mixing things, which takes another level of skill and time. I started with abut 4-5 concentrates, mixing single flavours and then two-three flavour combinations, and now have my own recipes that have combinations of up to ten different concentrates in differing percentages.
    I think thats another great thing about DIY - you can really tailor the vape to your needs, strength wise, VG concentration, and in terms of flavour concentrations. For me, this is one of the allures of DIY.
     
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  7. Pippi

    Pippi Mother of Pudles

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Location:
    Victoria
    Lol, Moonshine, yes I was lured by the pretty bottles but the Juice is seriously good. I am going to post you a couple of tiny bottles with your other parcel xx
     
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  8. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    NE NSW and SE QLD
    Hahahaha love it!
    I agree - knowing what is in DIY is definitely appealing.
    On the flipped, often it can take a looooooooong time to come up with complex mixes that are as good as some RTV's.
    Sounds like you have lucked out since the beginning with DIY, Kudos! :)
     
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  9. Judith

    Judith Mostly harmless

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    Don't Ally. It would be wasted on me and if you enjoy them you should use them. I am a real slob and vape almost anything and half the time don't even notice what I am vaping. I am not smoking so I am happy.
     
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  10. Aqualung

    Aqualung Vagrant

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    Jun 19, 2015
    This hits the nail right on the head, I reckon.
    With a premix, its pretty much a yes or no decision, whereas with DIY, the response becomes "with just a little more/less of this/that" I could really like this
     
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  11. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    As a side note - its interesting that on a forum based in a country where DIY is prevalent due to nicotine laws, this thread has not attracted any negatively context replies, whereas elsewhere persons in countries where off the shelf products are the norm, DIY is indeed seen as "cheap" or "lower" in quality.
     
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  12. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    Edited your post & bolded the quoted part I agree with.
    It's why my flavors don't have pretty packaging, no slick marketing & generally are unheard of, because I mix & blend flavors I enjoy, to enhance my own vaping experience, not to make a fortune from a "cool industry".

    DiY is where the best juice makers come from, having an ISO8 lab doesn't make your juice instantly "good", you have to have some knowledge of how to blend flavors PROPERLY, which is why I vape my own juice 95% of the time, no one makes juice I enjoy as much as the juice I make for my own tastes.
     
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  13. emu

    emu Senior Member

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    So what is this @Noe...?
    Posted by Enyawreklaw on the diy reddit subform
    I don't understand, a bit slow you know.
     
  14. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    That's the name of the person being quoted on reddit forum.
     
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  15. emu

    emu Senior Member

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    Well I'm a Dick, I thought rupert wrote it.
    I was so impressed.
    Correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks Noe
     
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  16. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    If Rupert was online, he'd be the first to admit he didn't write it.
    In his OP, he used the quote correctly, you must have missed it.
     
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  17. Keith Laird

    Keith Laird New Member Vendor

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    I tend to agree no-one is going to be able to produce a vape that will suit everyone and the beauty of DIY vape is that you will keep tinkering with it until you find something that you like ! Then on the other hand a lot of people dont want to bother with the mixing I guess ! Personaly i haven't bought one vape that i liked enough to say yeh i will buy that again and with the expense involved with delivery from overseas i find it hard to justify taking the risks of spending my money on something there is a 60% chance i wont like it and if fact many of the " so called premium " juices i tried ended up in the toilet! I have settled on about 5 flavours i have developed that suit my taste and havent needed to to buy juice for about 6 months as im very happy vaping my ones i spent a few months getting right for me ! Also i no longer use nicotine so i had to find a way of mixing flavours i like that give me the hit i need without the nicotine and i now tend to look at the flavour rather the hit factor I actually prefer a fairly mild vape ! It was interesting to me at the Babushka Vape meet we were all trying each others vape and i actually couldn't handle most of them as they were just to strong , i liked some of the flavours but the hits nearly put me on the floor ! I guess that is the good thing about social days is you can try some other vapes without the outlay and if you like one and it isnt a DIY vape you can buy it with confidence ! As for the lab aspect how do we know who works in those labs anyway ! Just my opinion !
     
  18. emu

    emu Senior Member

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    Thanks mate, yes I did miss it.
    Hate lots of words.
     
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  19. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    Nice WoT (wall of text).
    If you use the return key to create some breaks in the text, you'll get your message across to more readers. :)
     
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  20. Head in the Clouds

    Head in the Clouds Senior Member

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    Sorry @Moonshine i couldn't resist - whether typo or deliberate it made me laugh :D

    I've been watching DIY or DIE on YouTube too, have found his videos really informative. Going to dip my toe into the DIY water too I mean after all I've been vaping for nearly a month now I must know everything there is to know!
    :bolt:
     
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