Posted on November 06 2018
While others take joy in creating huge clouds of smoke, a lot of vapers prefer to focus on the flavour itself. We’ve covered cloud chasing before so, in this spirit, I thought it time to do something on getting the best possible flavour from your e-liquids; something known as flavour chasing.
PG vs VG
PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine) are two of the four ingredients that you’ll find in today’s e-liquid bottles, along with nicotine and flavouring.
Let’s say a typical bottle has 10% nicotine and 10% flavouring. The remaining 80% would be PG and/or VG, which helps dilute the nicotine and the flavouring.
Here’s the difference between the two:
- Propylene Glycol (PG) – PG is an organic compound that is tasteless and colourless. Given that it has a lower viscosity, it flows easily like water. PG tends to absorb flavours better than VG, so e-liquids with higher PG content will have a more concentrated taste. It also produces the “throat hit” that current or ex-smokers prefer in their vapes.
If you use e-liquids with higher PG amount, it produces weaker vapour but stronger flavour. Note that PG has a higher rate of sensitivity among users (some experience hives, itching, or difficulty in breathing), so a number of vapers prefer to have less or no PG content in their e-liquids.
- Vegetable Glycerine (VG) – VG is also an organic substance that came from plant extracts (e.g. coconut oil, palm oil, soy). Similar to PG, it is tasteless and colourless. However, it’s a thick liquid with a subtle sweet flavour, which could sometimes diminish the e-liquid’s flavour.
Having a higher viscosity means e-liquids with higher VG content can produce bigger and denser clouds of vapour. It also produces fewer throat hits when inhaled.
“PG/VG ratio” is a term you’ll encounter in the process of flavour chasing. This ratio is based on how you like to vape. We’ll discuss this in more detail in a bit.
Another technique you need to be aware of is steeping e-liquid. This is the process of ageing your e-liquid so that any bottled taste or alcohol are removed. The entire process is done via oxidation, which then mixes the VG/PG content, flavour, and nicotine. The end result is a much darker liquid with no alcohol, but with a more concentrated flavour.
Homemade e-liquids will benefit from this to remove the chemical taste. Commercially-bought bottles that came with too strong or too sweet of a taste can be steeped to mellow it down. Do note, however, that lighter flavours, when steeped, may completely remove the taste altogether.
There are plenty of ways to steep e-liquids, but the basic steps involve storing it in a dark and cool place for a few weeks, and then occasionally shaking it and exposing it to air for oxidation.
7 Ways to Get More Flavour From Your E-liquids
1. Wattage and temperature control
Tweaking the settings is one of the simplest ways to get more flavour out of your e-liquid.
Different flavours vaporise at different temperatures. Your settings and your coil’s resistance will ultimately determine how hot your coil will be, so adjusting the temperature control will give you the flavour that you’re chasing.
Think about it: your food will taste better if it’s cooked at the right temperature. That is essentially what we mean. You need to play with your settings until you get the flavour you want.
The best way to do this is to start at a lower setting and adjust it until you find your “sweet spot.” Remember that flavours vaporise differently, so one e-liquid may react better with 20 W while another would have better flavour at 35 W.
2. Get rid of vaper’s tongue
Vaper’s tongue is a condition wherein your taste buds become fatigued for vaping the same flavour for a long period of time. You may also find similar flavours hard to enjoy.
To deal with this issue, make sure that you switch flavours every now and then. Drink plenty of water, try sucking on a lemon, or take a whiff of coffee beans. All these would help reset your palate.
3. Store your e-liquid properly
How you store your e-liquid is crucial in keeping its flavour intact. When storing them, make sure that you keep your bottles in a cool, dry place.
You should also limit the amount of open air and heat that you expose your e-liquids to. Screw the cap on firmly. If a large bottle of e-liquid is only half full, you can transfer it to smaller bottles so it won’t be exposed to a lot of air.
For long-term storage, it’s best that you use a glass bottle. Plastic bottles can affect the flavours when stored for an extended period of time. We also recommend that you freeze or refrigerate your e-liquid to maximise its lifespan.
Note that cooling e-liquids will make it thicker, so warm it to room temperature before use. It won’t freeze though since both PG and VG have low freezing points (except in cases of 80% VG content).
A lot of e-liquids benefit from steeping to bring out their flavours. Refer to our section above on how to properly steep your e-liquid.
4. Limit airflow
Cloud chasers prefer a lot of airflow since it helps them release big plumes of smoke. This would, however, diminish the flavour.
Flavour chasers, on the other hand, should limit their device’s airflow. Close off your airflow, so you’ll get denser and warmer vape with a more concentrated flavour. This will be easy to do with atomisers that come with adjustable airflow systems.
Note that the vapour will get too hot if the airflow is too closed off. Similar to tweaking your device’s temperature settings, start low and adjust until you find your sweet spot.
Atomisers with a wide bore or larger diameter would result in a harsher throat hit; the same goes for rebuildable atomisers with a large chamber. With this in mind, it’s best that you stick to smaller bore coils and smaller chambers to go with a limited airflow.
5. Choose the right equipment
The right materials and parts for your device can have the biggest effect on flavour. Here’s a guideline you can use:
- Atomiser – Bottom-coil atomisers can produce a much better flavour than top-coil ones. This way, there’s less pressure on the wick to get the flavour to the top.
- Tank – What your tank is made of can affect the flavour. Similar to bottle material, plastic tanks can diminish flavour quality, so it would be better for you to use glass tanks.
- Drip tip– Today’s atomisers and tanks have a much larger bore drip-tips. However, this will only give you airier vapes, cool vapours, and bigger cloud production. Find a tank or atomiser with a narrower tip. It may not have such a dramatic effect as limiting airflow settings, but it makes a noticeable difference.
- Coil- A small bore coil, as mentioned above, will help with the flavour as well as it restricts the airflow. A dual coil setup is also preferable than a single coil, as it would let you produce more vapour. More vapour means more flavour.
- Wicking material – Silica wicks can actually mute e-liquid tastes, so go for cotton (e.g. Japanese cotton, cotton bacon a.k.a. cellucotton) or ceramic wicks that are resistant to heat.
- Rebuildable atomiser– We recommend this for the serious flavour chaser, as this is going to be more hands-on and customisable based on your preferences.
6. Use e-liquids with high PG content
Remember our discussion on the differences between PG and VG? This is where it comes in. The PG/VG ratio affects the flavour. A typical e-liquid bottle has a 40:60 PG-to-VG ratio. Higher VG means bigger clouds, but higher PG means better flavour.
The ideal ratio is half and half. With a 50/50 ratio, the throat hit can get a little bit harsher, so make sure you’re okay with that. You can push to a higher PG content if that’s your preference.
Every vaper is different. The idea here is to keep testing, so you’ll find which ratio would give you the flavour you want.
7. Clean everything
Just as the right material and parts affect the flavour, so does their maintenance. Think of a plate with barbecue sauce, and then you decided to place a slice of cake on it. The flavours would mix and you wouldn’t enjoy your dessert. The same goes for your device.
Clean coils and wicks produce better flavours. This does not mean you should rinse your coil or change it each time you try a new flavour. However, a regular rinse will extend your device’s lifespan and improve the flavour you’ll get.
You can read our extensive guide on cleaning your mod. The process here is to disassemble all the parts, rinse it in warm water or cleaning solution, and let it dry completely.
In cases of rebuildable atomisers, you can easily swap your wicks each time you use a new e-liquid. Just take it out, fire your coil so it would dry up, and wait for it to cool down. Then, insert your new wick.
If you have an extra device, you can use that while your first device is drying up.
Find What Floats Your E-liquid Boat
As you can probably tell by now, there are a variety of ways you can chase the flavour to get the best vaping experience. The key here, however, is to keep adjusting your settings and picking the right materials to find a system that works for you and your vaping style.
If you need help figuring out which device to use, give us a call on 01179 669309 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.