Should I buy a premixed base?
A lot of people start with a premixed VG/PG/Nic base and find themselves quickly moving on to separate bases for the flexibility and control that are inherently lacking in, well, anything that someone else mixes for you. But the real answer to the question above is all about your situation and preference.
- It’s a great way to get your foot in the door
- Saves space
- No control
Picking your premix
You’ve probably seen this before when it comes to flavors but it’s always best to have recipes in mind before making an order–it’s no different when it comes to a premixed base. Whether you pick an 80/20 @ 3mg or 70/30 @ 6mg or even 50/50 @ 24mg you should know what you plan to add to the mix before you buy it, because the amount of flavor you add will dilute the base further toward the PG side (unless you’re using the rare and rarely good VG based flavors) and also reduce the amount of nicotine in your final mix.
You probably know your preferred VG/PG ratio, or the range that works best in the gear you use. After that you can determine the ideal VG % of your premix by looking at the average percentages of the recipes you plan to mix and adding their total % to the PG % of your premix. If the PG is over 50%, you’ve gone too far…
The premixed base I see the most regret over purchasing has to be 50/50. It’s rare that anyone has a preference of PG at over 50% of a mix, let alone the kind of gear that would work well with that ratio. I’ve seen many new mixers come through asking how to make 50/50 work when mixing up a recipe @ 20% flavor and, well… it just doesn’t work (unless you somehow enjoy 70% PG)
I don’t normally recommend Liquid Barn but after looking at the options for premixed bases (US) theirs seems to be the “best” for the price ($7.99/500ml 3mg) with e-Liq being comparably priced choice.
Mixing with your premix
add in your recipe/one shot and it will output your final recipe and the resulting ratios like this:
Once you’ve moved on to buying your bases separately you may find yourself enjoying the price break but still wanting to capture some of the convenience of having the base premixed. It’s easy to do and even some experienced mixers do it for various reasons; /u/ConcreteRiver for example premixes a base for single flavor testing because it would almost be insane not to.
To do this just create a recipe in your preferred recipe calculator and leave out the flavors.
Example (using 100mg/ml nicotine in PG) for 500ml of 80/20 VG/PG @ 3.5mg
So I heard you like premix in your premix…
Bottle Shots are a lot like One Shots–a recipe in a bottle. But in the case of Bottle Shots you’re given a bottle (of various sizes) to pour your base into. At its most convenient, you’ll simply take your premixed base (ex. 80/20 @ 6mg) and fill your bottle shot all the way up. Shake it, steep it and voila, you’ve got eLiquid. If the recipe in the bottle shot is 20% (it will usually tell you) then your final mix will be 64/36 VG/PG @ 4.8mg.
One Shots are mostly the same concept–a recipe in a bottle, the main difference being you have to Bring Your Own Bottle and measure your one shot before adding the base.
Making your own One Shots (Premixed Flavors)
Both ELR & ATF have this option available. You simply pick the recipe you want to turn into a one shot… on ELR click the blue wrench and select “Make one shot/concentrate”
or on ATF once you click “Mix” on the recipe page there is an option with a checkbox next to it “Mix as flavor base”
They both give you the option of how much flavor base/one shot to make but ELR also has the option to change your desired mixing percentage, which will allow you to add PG to your flavor base in order to round the percentage you add to your base for convenience.
I wouldn’t recommend buying a premixed base as it seems most people tend to give them up shortly into their DIY journey and mixing with separate bases is already incredibly easy to do and allows you to be selective about one of the most important ingredients in your mix: Nicotine. But some people may have good reasons to need them, so hopefully this answers some of the questions related to using them. As always, if I missed something, feel free to point it out or ask for clarification.