Virginia fire cured by flavor west

March 19, 2013 by  
Filed under DIY Flavors, Electronic Cigarettes, Flavor Reviews

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This is going to be a tough flavor, if it ever works for me at all.  First off, you will notice that if you go to make your own flavors, almost none of the flavor west flavors tell you what your starting point should be.  Some of the desert flavors say start at 20% flavor, but none of the tobaccos mention anything at all.

So, knowing 20% would be way too much, I started out with 20%, and let it steep for a month.  Oh, it is so strong and perfume smelling…

No matter.  I knew it would not be where I wanted it.  I cut it into 2 batches.  A 10% batch and a 5% batch.  Both were still way too strong. So, I took it down to 2%.

At this point, after steeping for over a week, it still has a lot of the perfume smell.  Kinda like if you walk into an incense store. Kinda tingles the nose a bit with an almost flowery smell.

Virginia fire cured, just does not seem to be a flavor that I will like to use, so I fumbled through my flavors, and decided to mix up a batch with some blueberry added.

I let it steep for a whole , oh, I don’t know…  maybe 2 minutes.  LOL  and put 10 drops in my atty to test out.  What the heck.  I know I don’t like the base flavor my itself, so let’s try adding some blueberry and see what happens.

It still has some of that flowery taste to it, but it seems like it may work well with the blueberry in it.  This first try, I have 2 mils of base, the Virginia fire cured at 2% flavor, and 2 tenths of a mil of blueberry extract. That is kinda light on the blueberry, as a rule, I think it should start at 20% but I didn’t want to over power it too much.

This is a 50/50 pg/vg mix, as that is what I normally use.  If you are following my articles, please stay tuned on this one, because it seems like it may be going somewhere nice.   I will give full details now, of the mix if you are wanting to try it out.

2 mils of the base.  2 tenths of a mil of blueberry also by flavor west.  All in a 50/50 pg/vg mix.  I use the ejuicemeup calculator to get my mixtures right.  Also, note that when it started out, my nic was only 8%.  I am not worried about the nic content yet, as I blend down to see if this flavor mix works.

Review so far:   After only about 10 to 15 minutes after making, so no real steeping time.

It has a nice smooth blueberry flavor on inhale and exhale.  The flowery taste is almost killed off and mixes well with the blueberry for sure.  However, it is still there.  Maybe with some steeping, it will dissipate.  Time will tell.  I will revisit the flavor in a week, 2, and 4 weeks and see how it progresses with age.  It also leaves a nice blue berry flavor on your lips, that lingers for a little while.  So you might need to watch what your eating or drinking with it, or you could get a bad taste from the two blending together.  Just a heads up. Goes nicely with my iced tea though.

The flavor is close to what I would like for a blubacco, but not quite there.  Perhaps a different tobacco base will work better.   It has a mild throat hit, and nice vapor production, so it is headed in the right direction.  For those of you that kinda like the flowery essence that the Virginia fire cured has, you may really love this as a blubacco base.

Test it out on your own, and perhaps add more or less of each to see what you come out with.  I don’t think it is going to be my main blue berry and tobacco flavor, but it may sneak up and be great in a few weeks.  I just figured I would toss in the blueberry since I didn’t like the main tobacco flavor, and it is at least fair off the bat, and most flavors do get better as they sit on the shelf for a few weeks.

Ok, I took a batch all the way down to 1% of this flavor.  Let it steep two weeks, and it still smells like women’s perfume.   It blows a real thick cloud of vapor at a 50/50 pg/vg mix, but the flavor just, well, to me anyways, this flavor is crap, and tastes nothing like any kind of tobacco.   I gave it every chance and it disapointed me on every attempt.

However, I finally got the horrid perfume smell to a minimum, so I know it would go well with blueberry now, but why waist my blueberry on this stuff.   I think it is headed to file C…  the trash can.

I sure hope this helps save someone else the time and headache of trying out this flavor, thinking it is supposed to somehow be a tobacco flavor – Because it isn’t.

Happy vaping,

Tim L




DIY e liquid review – Banana nut bread by Flavor west

Well, now I am starting to have some fun with my DIY e liquid making.  Since I have been vaping a while now, and have to drive around 75 miles round trip to get my favorite  smoke juice, I decided to give a go at making my own.  It is just too costly to drive that far to pick up some e liquids every couple of weeks. It tacks on an easy $20 for the gas.  So, I ordered the supplies, and started making some flavors of my own.  This is a review of the banana nut bread DIY flavoring from Flavor West.
The first thing I found out, is that there is no carved in stone way to make your eliquids.  There are several flavor vendors, and none of them have a set amount of flavor you ad, to make your juice.  It is mostly trial and error, and a lot of reading on the net to try finding what worked for others.  So, for my first batch, since my wife likes it so much, I made up some banana nut bread e liquid.   The best info I could find on the web said to use about 20% of the flavoring, with the mix, so I added my flavor,  nic, and set the e liquid calculator to a 50/50 mix of pg-vg, with 16mg of nicotine, with 15% of flavoring, just to be safe.
Believe it or not,,, it turned out pretty darn good.   I made a second batch at the 20% flavoring, and it was a bit too strong, so I lucked out the first time.  Nice.   The e liquid needs to sit for several hours, to several weeks, to steep in the flavor,  but we only waited an hour or so for the first try of it.  Then once it sat for a week, it was great.   My wife loves it, and that was important, because I made that batch for her.  Once this flavor sites for 7 or 8 days at room temperature, it becomes more bold, and flavorful.  Keep that in mind if you start making stronger batches.
With the 50/50 blend of pg and vg, it has a real good vapor, plenty of throat hit, and a real smooth flavor that you could vape all day.   If you like banana nut bread, then you should really give this flavor a try.  If you do not want to do it yourself, then there are tons of sites that sell ready to vape e liquids and many of them carry this flavor.
Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Vaping!
Tim L

My Electronic Cigarette Review

February 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Electronic Cigarettes

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Ok, here goes my review on electronic cigarettes and vaping.  I am sure you could pull up thousands of reviews if you search on line.  That may be how you found my site.  Well, I will let you know what I think about them after doing the on going research that I also do from time to time, and with how well they have worked for me, to move away from smoking, and working towards my zero nicotine goal.

I started out like most people. I  was a smoker of 20+ years.  I have tried countless times to quit smoking for health reasons, and because of the cost.  Now, to put that into prospective – I said I would stop smoking if they ever cost more than $1 a pack…  damn, that was a long, long time ago.

I wondered if the electronic cigarette could offer a realistic smoking experience?  Of course, this is one of the first thoughts that came to my mind when I first heard about e-cigarettes and no doubt you’re also wondering “how close to the real thing can it be?”

I’d like to share my electronic cigarette usage review with you in the hopes of giving you a better understanding of what to expect if you decide to give them a try.

Some smokers enjoy their cigarettes. At least they say they do.  I smoked for an awful long time, and I can’t remember actually enjoying them after they had me hooked. The first few, ok, they were, but after that, I was just feeding the craving. For many smokers, like me, it was a love hate relationship.   If you smoke then you know what I’m talking about. You know how bad it is for you, but you enjoy the sensation, and the actual ritual of smoking. Or at the least, that is what you trained your body to think.  That’s why the nicotine delivery alternatives like gum and the patch just can’t cut it… they don’t simulate the actual smoking experience and I go nuts trying to quit.

This is where the e-cig comes in.  It claims to replicate a real smoking experience, but without the same health risks and other drawbacks of smoking tobacco cigarettes.  And you know what? For me, it is doing a pretty good job at doing it.  It isn’t exactly the same, but the similarities are close enough to satisfy me.  The weight of the e-cig is the first thing you notice that is different. It took a while to get used to, but I did in time.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with how it tasted and felt like smoking a regular tobacco cigarette.  From the first try, i could see how this could be the ticket to both saving a lot of money, and getting off of cigarettes for good.

The sensation of the vapor is incredibly similar to real cigarette smoke. The vapor has a warmth to it, depending on your atomizer, and it feels a lot like real smoke when you inhale. A bit milder though. You also get that immediate nicotine sensation which is satisfying.

The taste was a lot like tobacco but not exactly. It was a bit smoother and cleaner tasting and I found myself actually preferring the flavor. I understand that other flavors are available like menthol, vanilla, fruit, etc., but I didn’t try any of those for quite a while.  Then my taste buds became clearer and I did find that I enjoy a lot of different flavors and now I don’t vape much of the tobacco flavors at all.

When you blow out the vapor you see a cloud that looks exactly like smoke but without the lingering smell.  As a matter of fact the vapor is nearly odorless and the cloud (which is just vapor) quickly disappears without a trace.  Some of the e-liquids do leave a good smell in the air, but most have no smell at all.  The fact that my breath, hands, hair and clothes don’t stink is a big plus!

Another think I like is the price. A pack of cigarettes where I live is about $5. A single nicotine cartridge for most electronic cigarettes is around $1.5 to $2, and is the equivalent of about 30 cigarettes. However, I use refillable tanks, and buy my liquids in larger bottles so the savings is 10 fold.

If you’re an adult, addicted smoker, I highly recommend giving the electronic cigarette a try… you may find yourself changing the way you smoke forever.  Hey, it works for me, and it may work for you also.  You never know until you give them a try.

What is the Best Electronic Cigarette for you?

February 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Electronic Cigarettes

I don’t know.  I do know what has been working for me, and I know what I want out of vaping.  You will want something different, I am sure.  It seems there are as many likes and dislikes as there are different kinds of electronic cigarettes.

Well, most e-cigarette models basically work in the same way. In a nutshell, a battery powers an atomizer which vaporizes an e-liquid solution that is inhaled by the user.  The main differences are in overall quality, dependability, as well as special, extra features that may appeal to you depending on your personality and needs.  Everyone likes something for different reasons.  The best idea is to get to an electronic cigaret retail store, and try a few models for yourself.

Some features to think about when choosing the best electronic cigarette:

1. How it looks. The first thing you may consider is the overall look. Most manufacturers started out to make their e cigarettes to look like a real cigarette. The cartridge is brown to look like a filter, the battery is made to look like main body of a tobacco cigarette and the end will even glow red when you inhale to add to a more realistic smoking experience.  These models are great for seeing if you enjoy vaping.  Some people stay with them because they are small, but most will change to bigger batteries and longer lasting liquid carriers.

There are many different colors and designs to choose from, as well as a lot of different styles of e cigs.  There are even e-cigars and pipes that look quite realistic, and offer great vapor production.  You will notice the store owners generally walk around with a huge thing called a mod..  this is a huge battery that really makes vaping more enjoyable, but it is a lot more costly, and most new vapors will not want to start with something that big.

2. LED color choice. As mentioned above, the traditional look is a red LED on the tip that lights up when you take a drag. However, you can also choose a green or blue LED. What difference does it make? If your LED is red, you won’t get as much attention from other smokers because it looks so realistic. On the other hand, if the end lights up green or blue, then you will attract a lot more attention from curious smokers that see the end of your ecig. This could be good or bad depending on how you feel about talking to people when they ask you about them.  Do you like to remain more anonymous, or do you enjoy talking, and answering a few questions from people you may not know?

3. Vapor production. How much vapor you’re able to get on one puff is a big deal for most smokers. Generally speaking, the more volume, equals a more satisfying and realistic vaping experience.  Even if the same nicotine volume is present, a smaller vapor production will make a smoker feel like he/she, is not getting what they are looking for.

4. The Atomizer. The atomizer is what vaporizes the e-liquid, and contributes greatly to overall vapor volume. A dirty, or clogged atomizer will not perform well.  The most common problem is a clogged atomizer.  You may want one that is easy to clean, or even rebuildable.  However, you may want to consider a two-piece model where the nicotine cartridge and atomizer are one unit. Every time you change your cartridge you also get a fresh atomizer.  This is usually the choice for people that are just too busy, or do not want to spend the time to do the required maintenance.

5. Life of the battery.  Are you are going to use your e-cigarette a lot throughout the day?  If so, you want to make sure your battery has battery life that will last for a whole day like an ego 1100 amh, or even something larger.  You may also want to consider a car charger or pass through device,  if you’re on the road a lot and don’t want to drain your battery when away.

6. Oh, all the flavors.  Where do you start – how do you choose what will work for you.   Do you want the traditional flavor of tobacco, or menthol tobacco? Many companies also offer you the choice of experimenting with a ton of flavors like, vanilla, chocolate, coffee or fruit flavors. There are well over 100 flavors to choose from.  Most people start with a tobacco flavor, then later start checking out other flavors.   Most stores will have samples you can test on the spot, to see if you like it.

7. Nicotine levels.  E-liquids come in several different nicotine strengths: High, medium, low and zero nicotine. Some stores will let you tell them your nic level to put in, if they make their own liquids.  If you are trying to get away from nicotine, it is easy to get a lower amount when you are ready to go lower.

Now that you know what to look for, with a little bit of  hands on research, you should be able to find the best electronic cigarette that fits your personality and needs.  Don’t make the mistake of buying the cheapest electronic cigarette you find, or the first one you see…  I have found that it’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars to get a device that gives you the most realistic smoking experience, without the mechanical problems found in many of the cheaper models.  It is not always the case, but generally from what I found, it is the norm.

I hope this helps point you in the right direction.

What is an Electronic Cigarette?

February 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Electronic Cigarettes

A few years back, I heard of electric cigarettes, and had no idea what they were, or where to find one.  I heard that you smoke them, but there was no smoke… It had me confused, and curious at the same time. When I first heard about the electronic cigarette, my first reaction was that this is most likely a novelty item that wasn’t to be taken seriously.

Just this last year though, I finally found what it was all about.  There were no stores selling them until recently, so there was just no information out there to be had. From what I have seen though, I am glad I didn’t find them back then.  They were shotty, and at best a poor excuse for what they were supposed to be.   They have had a few years to develop a much better product before I found them, and for that, I am glad.

Since that time, several years ago,,,  I continued smoking regular cigarettes, even though I tried to quit, I don’t know how many times, over the last 15 years.  Then, I developed a heart problem, and had to have a quadruple bypass.  The doc said I had to quit, or I would be back in a couple of years.  I didn’t want no part of doing that all again.  It is the most pain you could ever imagine…

After I healed up for 3 months or so,  I started smoking again.  Bad idea…  I didn’t want to, I just did.  I started looking for alternatives again, and finally found a egig shop in a flea market that we go to. This is where I learned about them, and got started into vaping.

Here is the scoop on them, for those of you that don’t know yet.

The e-cig is a battery powered device that is supposed to look and feel like a real cigarette.  However, the first thing we noticed it that even the small ones are much heavier than a real cigarette.  It takes time getting used to that.  The first ones we tried did look like a real cigarette, but the batteries only lasted a couple of hours, and we always had to have spares on the charger.  We upgraded…

The main type that is used by people once they get past the point of using the disposable types, or the lower cost ones that look like them, is the EGo battery and a clearamizer, or a tank which holds enough liquid to vape for hours, and the battery lasts most of the day.

This comes in two or 3 parts, depending on which type you get.  The basic parts are:

1. Battery
2. Atomizer
3. Cartridge or tank, or clearamizer.  NOTE: This part is your choice, and you find find yourself changing between one type and another to find the one that you really like.  There are a lot of different types from the basic disposables, to the reusable, and then the more advanced rebuildable ones. .

I will  go over what each component does:

1. Atomizer. This heats up and vaporizes a mixture of e-liquid, with or without nicotine. The sensation of inhaling this vapor is very similar to real cigarette smoke but without the same health risks.  It even has a warm feel to it which adds to a realistic experience. The vapor produces a cloud that looks like smoke but is actually just a vapor mist that quickly disappears. Not to mention, that the mist smells good, if it has any smell at all, and not at all like a regular cigarette stink.

2. Battery. A rechargeable battery that powers the atomizer.  You can get different sizes of these batteries, so you can get one that will last you all day, with one battery.   It is shaped to look like the body of a real cigarette, except they are about the size of a small cigar. The lifespan of batteries varies from model to model, but most of them say you will get 300 to 400 recharges with them.   I use an Ego twist, that allows me to twist the bottom and change the voltage wich lets me tweak the way the flavor tastes.  It lasts all day, from about 7 am until about 11 pm. most of the time.

3. Cartridge.   The cartridges are made out of plastic and have a section that holds e-liquid.  They look similar to a real cigarette butt.  The clearomizer is typicly about 2.5 to 3 inches long, and had a glass or plastic cover so you can see how much liquid is in it, and holds a lot more than a cartridge. A tank came out as holding more liquid than a cartridge, but had no polly fill, and was just like a mouthpiece that had the liquid in it.  Now there are other tanks that are bigger than a clearomizer and are called cartomizers.

4. E-Liquid.    The E-liquid, or smoke juice, is what you put in the above items to produce the vapor you want.  You pick the flavor and nicotine level you want. E liquid has very few ingredients… made up of a water, vegetable glycerin, propoline glycol, and flavoring, and nicotine if you choose.    Different nicotine strengths are available in high (24 milligrams), low(less than 8 milligrams), or medium about 12 milligrams).  These numbers vary from the different manufacturers.  Most manufacturers also offer a variety of flavors ranging from traditional tobacco flavor, menthol, vanilla, chocolate and fruit flavors, drink flavors, deserts, like blueberry cheesecake, and tons of other flavors…  many of them are quite tasty.  And no doubt a lot better tasting than a real cigarette ever was.

The electronic cigarette seems surprisingly similar to a regular tobacco cigarette, but without most of the same health risks. There is no lingering offensive odor. No second hand smoke to float around and get all over everything.  Vaping is also a lot less costly than tobacco cigarettes. This combined with the fact that you can use it almost anywhere makes vaping,  a sensible, healthier alternative, one that is definitely worth considering.   Remember though, that if you have nicotine in your system, your blood pressure and flow is still affected.  The best part is, you can decrease that amount over time, like I have been doing.

One of the best things about it that I have found, is that when you vape, you do not smell like a dirty ashtray.  You don’t get that stink, that people can smell 5 feet away.  I know I didn’t realize how much you could smell it, until I started vaping, and realized I could tell when someone at the checkout line in the store had a smoke before they came shopping…  Not to mention, I can vape in my house and don’t have to worry about that brown nicotine stain all over the walls and cloths.

As far as me vaping with nicotine with my heart issues –  I can feel it if I have too much nicotine, and over time, I have been able to realize some great physical health benefits that have come back over the many months I have been away from real cigarettes.  My blood pressure is better.  I feel like I have more energy a lot more than I did before.  I can taste and smell better.  And most of all, I know I will get myself off of nicotine entirely before too much longer.  I couldn’t do that with any other things I used to try to get away from cigarettes.

Note, your mileage will vary.  Everyone is different. It may work for you, and it may not.  It is working for me, but didn’t work for my wife. She gave up after a couple of months. Hopefully, she will find the electronic cigarette that gives her the satisfaction she is looking for, and will give it another try soon.