I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, flavour over clouds is my ultimate goal as a vaper and over the years I’ve learnt a few tricks and tips on how to get the best from my e-liquid so please join me on a flavour chasers search for the perfect sweet spot, “I’ll try to help you get the best flavours from?your e-liquids“.
There is nothing wrong with blowing huge clouds of vapour and fogging out a room if that’s really what makes you happy as a vaper, but ask yourself? where is your flavour? if you want a huge, cloud aren’t you better off just using a straight vegetable glycerine on your coil and not bothering with flavoured e-liquids at all, build the biggest and best coil you can and insert fresh batteries in to your mech mod, use vegetable glycerine only with no propylene glycol, flavouring or nicotine and you should have the biggest cloud of vapour you will ever see, “I know cloud chasing is en vogue, but does it really satisfy”?
Some of us are after a bit more with our vaping, we are in the search for the ultimate flavour that our e-liquid can give us, we are after nice and strong vivid flavours and being able to find every flavour note within the e-liquid, clouds don’t really matter to us, sure a small cloud is fine, after all when we smoked we made a cloud but it didn’t block out the sun did it?
If you trawl the internet these days you will find ten websites based on cloud chasing and only one website about flavour chasing, that is because cloud chasing setups are easy, the bigger the better wins, but flavour chasing is all about tweaking what you already have and learning to make your equipment work to maximum effect to help perfect flavour from?the?e-liquid your using.
When you have your device or mod you need to make sure the battery level is at maximum, it’s no good to start tweaking settings to help get the best flavour if your mod is about to give up the ghost, now variable voltage and variable wattage devices are the flavour chasers best friend, this is because you can tweak heat and power settings to pickup certain flavour notes in an e-liquid, no e-liquid is made the same, some flavours will only come out at a certain temperature while other flavours will boil if the temperature is too high, also your coil resistance is a big factor, but with careful balance you can get a fully charged mod and a coil to work in harmony to give you the very best in flavour from an e-liquid.
When we start off looking for flavours in an e-liquid we are searching for the “Sweet Spot” or the optimum point, the trouble is that the sweet spot could be at very low wattage or low temperatures or it could be at very high temperatures or high wattage,?flavour could be tastier on a 1.8 ohm coil or more flavoursome on a 0.12 ohm stainless steel built coil, we just don’t know, but we can over time learn that a coconut flavour is more prominent at high heat builds and a pineapple flavour is more tasty at low wattage so if I put in a 0.3 ohm 28 gauge coil in an RDA and fire that at 12 watts, I should find that perfect Malibu flavour that the inventor was trying to recreate, it’s all about tweaking with flavour chasing, it’s not easy, but when you get it right you really get to taste the e-liquids just as the guy who invented it did, and that is a flavour chasers goal.
Flavour chasers now have a perfect weapon in the ultimate search for flavour and that is called Temperature Control, you see, the temperature of your coil is the over riding factor when it comes to hunting flavours, temperature control devices can limit?a coils maximum temperature, this makes it perfect for flavour chasing, finding the correct setting is simple, start low and adjust the temperature up as needed, this way the result will be a more consistent and flavoured vape.
Apart from temperature controlled devices there are a few other items in our arsenal that we can tweak to help improve flavours, air flow is a huge one, in the cloud chasing world having a huge airflow is very much needed, when maximum amounts of air hits the coil it will produce enormous clouds of vaper as the liquid starts to?heat on the coil and evaporates, but the downside to this maximum air?is that flavour is very much?diminished as you are having to really heat?the liquid to create these clouds, so doesn’t it make sense that to get flavour you need to close down airflow.
Closing down an airflow will create a dense and warm vapour that can travel up to the mouth and the taste buds, this warmer vapour carries much more flavour, so having an adjustable air flow on a tank or RDA? make this possible, but you have to be careful with this as getting the correct balance is very important, If the air flow holes are too closed you will have a poorer vapour production and the vapour may be a bit to hot, it’s like with the power of your device you need to start low and adjust the airflow setting until you get the ideal spot for you.
One of the other elements to note is that if you have a tank or an RDA and it comes with a wide chuff style drip tip, have you ever wondered why you get this chuff style tip? it is so that you can inhale lots of air?through the coil and bring out a ton of vapour in the form of clouds, but if you look in the spares bag you may see a 510 adapter that can be put in place of the chuff drip tip so you can use a normal narrower drip tip, this is there for the flavour chaser, use it, it is no good looking for flavour if the tank manufacturer only supplied the tank for cloud chasing, the 510 drip tip adapter is there to use for flavour chasing.
Have you heard of the sayings “Direct Lung Hit” and “Mouth To Lung”? well it tends to be true and especially in my opinion that “Mouth To Lung” is the preference for the flavour chaser, after all we are primarily after flavour, flavour is produced in the mouth and not in the lung, so Direct Lung is for larger coils which are more cloudy where the user can inhale direct and fill their lungs with vapour, and mouth to lung is for smaller coils, what I mean by this? the major thing is the bore of the atomiser or coil head and the leaning towards large bore coils give more airflow through the coil and will reduce flavour, so it may be better to choose a tank or an RDA that has a smaller more tighter coil, this type of coil is often classified as a mouth to lung coil meaning we take the vapour in to our mouth then inhale it in to our lungs much like we did when we smoked, when we vape this way the vapour sits on our palate in the mouth and absorbs flavour.
Mouth to lung devices i.e. tanks?are not very common as everything touts to the cloud chaser but more tanks that lean towards flavour chasing are appearing on the market so look out for them if you prefer flavour, we have had a few over the years and one that does spring to mind that was readily available?was the Aspire Nautilus tank, it was a great flavour chasing tank as it was ideal for mouth to lung, and I think the newer style Nautilus which is just hitting the market in early 2017 will be more of the same, the other option is an RDA or an RBA head for your own tank where you can build a coil your own way to chase that flavour, I will be doing a coil building video soon for Vapour Shack that will show you a couple of flavour chasing builds for?a Tank and RDA and an RBA head.
Most flavour chasing vapers like myself do use a rebuildable atomizer or?an?RDA as this gives us the best experience for flavour. RDA’s are a lot more hands on as you need to build your own coil but it means we can tweak that coil to give the flavour we want, so if you are comfortable with making your own coils an RDA is your best tool to go for.
There is not a lot to say on the various wires or cottons that are available if you are a builder of coils like with an RDA, everyone tends to have their own preference and one is not really any better than the other, for me personally I always used Kanthal wire as did most builders, it’s easy to use and it holds it’s shape well and Kanthal comes in various gauges or thicknesses, the down side with Kanthal wire is that it is for wattage power only, I changed about two years ago from Kanthal builds?to using Stainless Steel wire in my builds?for one simple reason, stainless steel builds can be used in both wattage mode and temperature control modes, I find it no different to work with over Kanthal wire and I think it personally gives me a cleaner and more crisp taste, as for the wicking material, I have always used cotton apart from the days before cotton, we all used Silica wick (dreadful stuff),?Pro Cotton by Coil Master is my preferred brand for wicking all my self build coils, I just find it very easy to work with and it tears very easily.
When it comes to e-liquids I can offer a little advice here as I do mix my own DIY E-Liquid, VG (vegetable glycerine) verses PG (propylene glycol), VG is the killer when it comes to flavour chasing, VG has a natural sweetener in it which is known to dull concentrated flavourings but juice manufacturers use VG as it gives bigger clouds, PG on the other hand carries flavours very well but it is a lot thinner in viscosity and produces next to no clouds, that is why most flavour concentrates are ready mixed with PG, because it carries the flavour the best, now in general most standard e-liquids that you buy will have a standard mix of 70% VG and 30% PG this is because they want you to have some PG carrying some flavour, but the VG gives the thickness to the liquid allowing you to see a nice cloud when you vape it, so imagine the flavour you would get if it was the other way around and you had 70 % PG and only 30 % VG? well I can tell you, I made two batches of the same flavour up at both ratios, and yes, I got a little less clouds from the low VG juice but not enough to worry about but the flavour I got was much more pronounced, the trouble with PG is that if you use to much then it can give a rather hard throat hit which is less enjoyable, but at a blend of 50 % VG to 50 % PG everything is way better, I think this is why Juice manufactures are regularly tweaking their mixes to get them to give you a better flavour and throat hit, so if you see a 50% 50% blend then that would be the best to go for as a flavour chaser.
Another tip that I cannot stress enough is never use the same?coil for various different juices, If you pass a?blackcurrant menthol juice through a new coil and vape it then you will get a nice taste of Blackcurrant menthol, but if you then run out of?blackcurrant menthol and run your coil under the tap and then refill with Banoffe flavour e-liquid the banana is still going to have a slight hint of Menthol E-Liquid taste and that’s just disgusting, it’s like having a plate of fish and chips with salt and vinegar, eating it then having a nice vanilla ice cream for pudding off the same plate without washing it first, it’s disgusting, don’t do it! use a fresh coil for each liquid, if it means you have a few tanks on the go or a few RDA’s then so be it, it’s much better than tainting flavours.
The best way to go is If you use RDA’s or a rebuildable head you will only need to change your wick, take out the old wick, dry burn the coil and reinsert a new wick, it’s easy and only takes a minute or two and doing it with every change of flavour is more reliable.
I think I have given you an idea on how to improve your chances of tasting great flavoured e-liquid, follow just some of these tips and tricks and you will soon start tasting in a different way which might make you see that cloud chasing is just one style of vaping and there is an entirely other world out there called flavour chasing.
I look forward to hearing how you are getting on with flavour on the vapour shack Facebook page.