The classic image of a vaper is someone surrounded by a huge cloud of vapour, looking extremely cool. This style of vaping may look great on your social media feed, but if you focus all your efforts on building up a head of steam, then you’re probably missing out on a whole lot of flavour. Each to their own, but if you’re more into great taste than great clouds, here are some tips as to how to get the most flavour out of your vape.
Choose the right eliquid
E-liquids are based on Propylene Glycol and/or Vegetable Glycerine. Basically PG is better at holding flavour while VG is better at delivering those thick clouds of vapour.
It’s highly unusual to use eliquid which is 100% PG or VG, although, in theory it’s possible. In practice, however, PG can be quite harsh on the throat, which means most people prefer to keep to a 50/50 blend and 70% would probably be the absolute upper limit for most people.
If you’re mixing your own eliquid, then obviously make sure that you’re putting enough flavour into the mixture, as a rule of thumb, if you’re using at least 50% PG then about 15% flavouring is a good amount. You might also want to consider whether your flavouring of choice would benefit from “steeping”, which basically means being given a little extra time to mature.
In general, the more complex a flavour is, the more likely it is to benefit from steeping. So, for example, you probably won’t gain much by steeping plain banana, but you might gain a lot from steeping caramel and ginger banana bread.
The basic idea behind steeping is that you leave the liquid undisturbed in a cool dark place, shaking it occasionally and periodically leave the container open (for short periods and in a place which is protected from curious children and pets) so that the eliquid can breathe. There are all kinds of opinions as to how, exactly, you should go about doing this and you can research them online before picking one (or trying out a few).
Store your eliquid correctly
The number one rule of storing eliquid is to make sure that it is kept well out of the way of children and animals as it can, literally, kill them. The number two rule of storing eliquid is to keep it well away from light, heat and air. Basically any of these can set off chemical reactions which could have negative effects on your eliquid. The probably won’t make it dangerous but they probably will degrade the taste.
Plastic bottles are fine for short-term use, but glass is better for longer-term storage and dark glass is best of all as it helps to protect your eliquid from light. In principle, the fridge is a good option, due to the coolness, but in practice there are two problems with it.
Firstly, it increases the risk that children will access it (we’ve even heard of pets being able to get into fridges).
Secondly fridges have lights which go on when the door is opened (which is usually fairly often with the average fridge), so if you do choose to keep your eliquid in the fridge, it’s a good idea to put the bottle in another container.
One good option is to use a cool bag with double zips, then put a safety pin through the two zip tags and store it at the back of the highest shelf. Freezing eliquid is, technically, possible (or more accurately, eliquid can be stored in the freezer but won’t actually freeze) but it will almost certainly damage the flavour of your eliquid.
If you really want (or need) to make eliquid ahead of time and store it for a long period in the freezer then your best option would be to stick with simple flavours and substantially increase the amount of flavouring you use. You will also want to give your eliquid plenty of time to return to room temperature before you try to vape it as cooler temperatures will make it thicken.
Choose a vaporizer made for flavour rather than vapour
A fair percentage of modern vaporizers are designed to produce impressive clouds of vapour rather than impressive amounts of flavour.
Here are some points to look for if you want a vaporizer which helps to maximize the taste of your eliquid.
Adjustable airflow (preferably combined with smaller-bore coils and smaller chambers)
Reducing the airflow makes the flavour more intense, but it also increases heat and can make the throat hit harsh, which is why you also want smaller-bore coils and smaller chambers to go along with it.
Coils located at the bottom of the central stem.
Vaporizers with the coils at the bottom of the stem use gravity to move the eliquid, which is much more effective than placing the coil at the top of the stem where the wick has to fight against gravity to get the eliquid where it needs to be.
Kanthal and nickel coils
Kanthal and nickel are both fairly flavourless, whereas stainless steel and titanium both taste like the metals they are. They may be great choices for people chasing clouds but they’re bad options for anyone going for flavour.
Japanese organic cotton wicks
These are the go-to option for anyone looking for flavour. There are other choices such as cellucotton and “Cotton Bacon” you may want to try, but whatever you do, avoid silica wicks.
Sub ohm tanks
Basically these tanks allow you to use coils with resistance of less than one ohm.
Keep your vaporizer clean
Cleaning your vaporizer after use is basically like cleaning your dishes after a meal. The difference, however, is that in practical terms, cleaning your vaporizer is a bit fiddlier than cleaning dishes.
Realistically, you should aim to clean your coil, wick and tank as often as you can manage and the more often you manage it the more you will be able to appreciate the flavour of your eliquid. Likewise, you should be ready to change your coils and wicks regularly.