E-liquid review: 3 Steamjunk blends

Tools: Same as before however with the broken hand I’m stuck with stock coils… So, it’s hit or miss (No offence to KangerTech intended.)

So, this is a liquid review post? Sure, why not?! All the cool kids are doing it so why not?

As you may remember I’ve mentioned Steamjunk before and not being terribly impressed with Ghost Berry before, it’s not a bad one and what with the realization that I’ve been using the tools like a newb I’ve been actually impressed with what it’s intended to taste like. It wasn’t meant to be an intense flavour, it seems to be intended to be a softer send up of the summer berries flavour combination of blue-raspberry and what tastes like a bit of grape in there to further meld them into a cohesive experience. The name should be a big clue here since ghost tends to elicit an ethereal experience and in  that sense Ghost Berry doesn’t disappoint. The pros are that it has a decent flavour and does an interesting take on blue-raspberry. The cons, however, are that it’s a soft flavour and the temperature/resistance+voltage does factor in. This liquid needs an atty that’s at “just the right level” of heat. Drippers may love it, tank/clearomizer users might be left underwhelmed.

Gargoyle. This one is definitely a “berries and cream” liquid. The berries are softer seeming than Ghost Berry but that’s likely more from the creamy notes which are both blending them together but also push the berries to be a little less pronounced. All in all it IS tasty… But as it steeped the berries tended to become a little less and the cream took on a deeper richness which risked crowding it out. That said, with the right setup it’s quite delicious and I’ve found more enjoyment using it in my trident than the kangers. The pros are that it does the “berries and cream” flavour well and if you like the softer flavours, this is likely to be a good vape. The cons, however, is that it suffers from a bit of instability what with the creamy notes coming on a bit too strong and a possible lack of balance unless you have a top-notch rig to drip it with.

Dragon’s Breath. This is a much more potent fruity liquid… So, it’s more in line with what I prefer so that does mean that I am a little biased. All of this said, it’s a double-edged sword… The inhale is weaker than I’d prefer but the exhale does reflect that nice citrus flavour. However, the downside is that this has to be the finickiest liquid I’ve ever vaped and it needs at the very least a variable-voltage rig because it treads the line between “just right” and “oh gods, this is nasty.” I suspect I know why as well because the citrus elements seem to be so strong that it borders on unpalatable leading to a very distinct plastic taste. (TFA Lemon-lime maybe?) So, a cheapie starter kit is not likely going to give you a good experience. However, with a vv rig at the right settings and you WILL be floored with a lush flavour experience with an exquisite citrus finish with hints of sweet-tart candy.  If you have a decent rig and like strong fruit flavours, try some if you can. If you have a lousy rig, however, maybe go with Ghost Berry or Gargoyle as they are more forgiving in that respect. So, Pros are a very heady experience with the right rig. the cons, if your rig is not “just right” you’ll be inhaling a synthetic-tasting lung of “ew.”

If you like reviews, feel free to comment to challenge my opinions or even share some suggestions on what you’d like to see here.

Happy Vaping and here’s to better health!

Life-update: Broken hand = rebuildables are out for now.

Tools: I’ve been rocking a 1.6 ohm atty in the kanger protank 2 mini… And the liquid I’ve been sucking on is a recipe adapted from one found online to make a toasted smore taste.

The recipe is as follows:
10% double chocolate
5% graham cracker
5% toasted marshmallow
5% marshmallow.

So far it tastes okay… It’s only steeped for a day so far and the test batch I made was only 5ml so it’s only a preliminary test blend… That said, it’s turning into a nice blend that might warrant relegation to a “dessert” liquid…

And in the news pertaining to the title of the post I’ve been nursing a broken hand. Long story short, I have a lot of mental issues and as such a chronic case of “repressitol” has led to a lot of anger issues. tldr of all this is an abusive parent (who I am now on good terms with but that doesn’t erase history and it’s impact on my psyche) as well as a rather traumatic event in my childhood with a thick layer of “bully’s favourite target” slathered on top… Yeah, I’ve got issues… But that led to me punching a wall out of serious frustration and that resulted in two metacarpals broken as well as a fractured triquetral bone (typical boxer’s break apparently.) It’s been an adjustment period and I’ve developed a deeper respect and understanding of what people with physical disabilities have to contend with. Granted, my own injury is healing so if the fates are kind I should make a full recovery… So in that I am not trying to say I am disabled or anything like that but it IS bringing me a deeper appreciation of what physically disabled people have to go through. Y’all are seriously stronger than I am.

How is this vaping-related? Well, I’ve realized that rebuilding the kanger heads, let alone my RBA is pretty much out of the question until I can either cobble together a jig to help with coiling or the hand heals. I’ve also realized that a good deal of vaping tools aren’t very accessible for one-handed people. Maybe I should try and figure out and design a tool for re-coiling that’s designed with accessibility in mind? I’ll see about working on something like that (I do still have one fully functional hand after-all, even if it’s my non-dominant hand.)

I’ll keep everyone posted on that side of things… Because as much as it seems silly, I am thinking of a saying that one of the characters from the movie “robots” said: “See a need, fill a need.”

Happy vaping and here’s to better health!

Wow, I am a silly-goose.

Tools: Kanger protank 2 mini on ego-t style batteries… This time, however, I’m using a 1.5 ohm resistance atomizer head in it partially because it’s all the shop had and also because that lets me squeeze a bit more life out of each charge. And here’s something I’ve learned.

I’ve been vaping wrong.

Reason? well, I’ve been using stock attys in there and as such I’ve had issues with getting dry-hits. Now, the funny part is I didn’t really clue in that they were dry hits until I was vaping one with a cotton wick. I got that nasty cotton burn taste and that clued me in that it wasn’t running too hot which was what I thought it was doing but more because there simply wasn’t enough e-liquids getting in there to produce good enough vapour.

So, when I re-wicked them I left the “flavour wick” out of the equation.

Now the flavour is coming through stronger and I now know that I’ve been vaping all wrong all this time.

And with that one of the bottles of liquid I have which I was using for my “only when I’m out of others” (which, if you remember, I now mix my own so that’s been sitting in my vape-box for a while now) was coming on a lot better. It was the Lemon Meringue from Delaware Vapour that I picked up a while ago. I liked it at first because the lemon came through very strongly (I love lemon, by the way) but as it steeped the crust came through and that’s all that I was able to taste… Now, I’m not against crust but to me, crust on a pie is and was always simply the thing you use to get the delicious fruit filling into your mouth. So, needless to say it’s not a flavour that I really find all that great… However, when I ran this through a better, non-flavour-wick atty, that lemony goodness came through a bit more. So, I cranked it up to the higher limit of what this atty can deal with and the flavour is much stronger and I can taste that familiar tang of the lemon.

So, I learned a thing today.

It’s all good though because now that I’ve learned this I can be a little more careful and critical of the liquids I’ve got. And believe me, even though I do mix my own, I still get a bottle once in a while from the local B&Ms.

What I’ve been loving so far is a liquid from Steam Junk called “Gargoyle.” I’m loving it because it’s just so delicious however I am leery because it’s a berries and cream… And since you know I’m a bit paranoid about contracting bronchiolitis obliterans (butter-lung) and since a good majority of flavouring agents that have creamy notes tend to have acetoin (which could mean trace amounts of diacetyl) I’m concerned.

I’ve been told by a lot of DIYers that it’s almost impossible to get a natural creamy note into one’s liquid without some acetoin and I do know what they mean as I’ve tasted “non custard” creamy flavours and “custard note” creamy flavours and I do see where they’re coming from. The “custard free” ones tend to have more of a sweet cream flavour like you’d get in hard candies whereas the “Custard” ones have a much more natural tasting creamy note akin to actual dairy products. So, I suspect that it has them in there and this might be one of my “Really good but not one I’ll get again” liquids (unless someone from Steam Junk that may or may not be seeing this would like to let me know if my worries aren’t warranted.)

And I guess through all of this this IS a learning experience… Mainly because a couple flavours that I’d never really thought I’d like I love whereas some I thought I’d like I kinda don’t. Still, at the end of the day as much as I am concerned about acetoin and it’s byproduct diacetyl, maybe I’m making a fuss out of nothing? Maybe the amount that you have to inhale to contract bronchiolitis obliterans is so much that it’s almost impossible to get it from vaping in the trace amounts that sometimes happens in acetoin-based flavours? This is one case where I think regulation would help us all because even though the FDA and all those other health organizations have given the go-ahead for a lot of flavours, that’s only really because those are for oral consumption and not insufflation. Hell, Diacetyl is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) for oral consumption (eating) but VERY dangerous for insufflation (inhalation.)

*shrugs*

Ah well, this was a bit of a ramble at this point and more to kinda share what I learned about atomizers and such…

So, with that, have a great day

Happy vaping and here’s to better health!

Analogs… Nope.

Tools: Same as usuall… And I know that I’ve been slacking on the posting front… Mainly because the posts themselves were getting me into a frame of mind that I’d have to have an analog.

That said, I did decide to buy a pack of smokes the other day and I had a couple. It’s not that I felt it to be weakness but more because it was just one of those kinds of situations where I wanted to see what my response would be. The brand is “DuMaurier Black” which is apparently a bit more “higher-end” in the quality department. So, these are supposed to be the good ones and they’re fresh.

And they still tasted like I was inhaling stale chemical air with that ever pernicious “stank” to them. Sure, the air had that “Rich tobacco smell” to it because a fresh cig with good tobacco is usually going to smell like that while it’s lit but to be fair the smell is usually short-lived and turns into that sour funk that I’m sure a lot of smokers are familiar with (and if not them, any non-smokers that live with them are bound to know the smell that I mean.) So, even with fresh and good-quality it still was less impressive than the vape.

That said, there’s been a bit of a furor with the legislation that’s going around. So, if you need to stock your ammunition to debate with people that are arguing against vaping (for whatever reason) here’s a link you might like which has links to EPA and FDA Studies that prove that propylene-glycol (one of the main ingredients in most e-liquids) is perfectly safe. Only risk seems to be that it’s a humectant so given that it’s likely that if you’re vaping with PG in your liquid then it’s suggested you make sure you’re properly hydrating yourself.

http://mnvapers.com/2014/04/epa-fda-vapor-harmless-children/

And as usual, if you are a vaper or are contemplating it… Research it. The best way to get information nowadays is to do your own research and always, ALWAYS be sure to remember a couple things which I’ve figured out about this kinda thing.

1. It’s important to understand that even though a lot of concerns seem to be silly or otherwise, they manage to gain traction because some people actually do believe them to be true if they’re not… So, if you can calmly and diplomatically help inform people on the matter, that should help defuse their concerns. Don’t be all dismissive and insulting or whatever, that’s not going to work. Be kind, calm, courteous and generally a nice person and you will win hearts and mind more effectively than if you are insulting, demeaning and belittling. We need allies, we don’t need more antagonists and treating people with disdain, rudeness or other negative things is going to make more antagonists than allies.

2. It’s also important to understand that the argument of vaping “normalizing” smoking isn’t without merit… That said, there ARE people out there that are more than happy to use smokers and nicotine-addicts as their ammunition to stroke their ego but the concerned parents? Well, to be fair they have a point. The only reason they have a point, however, is because when you’re trying to impress on a child that smoking is bad and that it’s not a good habit to get into, they often cite the damage it does to one’s health… So, given that it’s sensible to understand that vaping presents a bit of a hitch to that plan. Vaping isn’t nearly as damaging as the health impact is negligible. That said, it makes sense why some parents are against it because vaping presents to them an argument that would cause their desire to see their children free from addiction having less merit. So, maybe give them a better angle to use. Instead of saying “Vaping is perfectly safe” (which it is but that’s beside the point) say something like “Well, a vaper that’s using it to deal with their nicotine addiction is still addicted to the nicotine… And nicotine DOES have an effect on the developing brain so I’m actually in full support of children not using vapes for the purposes of looking cool or fitting in.” I don’t know anyone that’s either a smoker or a vaper that’s perfectly comfortable with children using a vape or getting addicted to nicotine in the first place… Sure, if the kid is already hooked on the nicotine I’d personally rather see them vaping but I’d rather not see them get hooked at all. But if I saw children smoking and vaping, I’d encourage the ones that are smoking to switch to vaping if they’re already addicted (but I’d strongly suggest that if they’re not addicted that they simply don’t start up at all.)

3.  Don’t be a vape-hole. This one is the absolute MOST IMPORTANT PART HERE… What’s a vape-hole? Well, they’re an asshole that vapes. It’s not hard to find them. they’re usually the ones that will vape away in a restaurant or a bar (without asking if it’s okay) and will cause a fuss whenever someone asks that they not do so in front of them. Vape-holes are the ones that make us look bad because they do not respect other people or their wishes. Sure, maybe the person asking you not to vape is asking becasue they’ve been misinformed but still, be courteous about it. Besides, if you’re inside vaping away, you’re not outside in the “Smoking pit” showing off your kit and possibly getting more smokers interested in vaping. Sure, it might be cold and rainy but consider this a sacrifice to pay that might help get more people off of analogs and on to vaping. And hell, if you have a couple alcohol wipes or a drip-tip condom, get them to try your vape! Seriously, get them to try it! The best way to convince people that vaping is a viable alternative to smoking is to get them to try it. And if you’ve got some awesome e-liquid in your vape that tastes like sex on a cloud made of unicorn farts and rainbows then that’s even better! And if you’re being a vape-hold and vaping inside to the chagrin of other patrons, you’re only presenting yourself as rude and dismissive of their concerns (of which there are some reasons to be concerned…)

4.  Remember, though that second-hand vapour doesn’t have all the nasty shit that smoke has, it still has some nicotine. That and some e-liquids will use ingredients that might cause an allergic reaction in some… So, be kind, courteous and respectful in all things you do with your vape. IF you can show people that you’re respectful and kind and you’re all sorts of awesome, they’re more likely to want to listen to you if you take some time out of their day to help them learn about vaping and why it’s better than cigarettes.

5. And this last point… Important… Engage your elected representatives. Don’t be all condescending or rude (because if you are they’re likely to file your concerns under “G” for “Garbage.”) Engage them because most representatives actually DO want to hear from you if they’re your representative. Sure, the “Party line” is something you have to understand but at the end of the day most politicians are more interested in keeping their jobs and that means they have to represent EVERYONE in their district or riding… Not just those that are of the same political affiliation. Because to them it’s important to do the job they’re there for and not to risk losing the next election. And think about it… if every single smoker in the world were to learn about vaping and we all united as one then there’s no way that they’d be able to ignore us without seriously risking their ability to collect a paycheck.

Happy Vaping and here’s to better health!

p.s. I’m going to go to a “when I have something pertinent to say” format for posting here… That means that there may be days or weeks that go by where I’m not updating. I want to keep this blog up as an e-cig related blog and my life doesn’t revolve around vaping (I am a human being with various interests after-all.. Heck, I have a blog where I talk about spiritual stuff… though I’ll post a link if people are interested in reading it as it’s not your typical spirituality blog.) That said, I’m still going to do the give-away raffle thing (I’m only a couple bills away from a setup that I’d be comfortable reccomending… it’s going to be a protank 2 mini with two ego-t style batteries, charger and a 5-pack of atomizers to be sure you have enough to last you a while… And depending on where you are, I may be able to include a bottle of liquid but I’m concerned about the legality of shipping that if it has to cross an international border… So, keep your eyes peeled for the opportunity to possibly score a kit for yourself or someone you love that’s a smoker… That said, if you already have a good collection of tools then I’d ask that if you do enter, you enter it for someone you know that’s a smoker… I mean, chances are if you ahve a good collection anyway a kanger+ego setup wouldn’t really be a step-up for you anyway, right?)

Why have I been absent?

So, I’m sure you’ve noticed a lack of updates lately… There’s a reason.

I noticed that the blog posts were actually driving my tobacco consumption up a bit more. See, I reached that “really don’t want an analog” stage a while ago but I would keep smoking because I felt obligated to post the progress… But the main factor in all the cigs since then was a “do I really have to?” feeling.

Since I stopped updating twice daily I’ve actually had days go by where I didn’t even think of lighting up an analog.

So, in a sense this experiment has been concluded because I realized that I was smoking more than I would if I was just doing this without the updates.

So, I guess I’m done with the experiment.

That said, however, I do still want to keep this blog alive but reserve the posts for when I have something e-cig/vape related that I want to talk about. So, I apologize in advance to those that have come to expect regularity from me but it’s better for my health that I just drop the experiment because I really don’t want to force myself to smoke an analog anymore.

That said, my go-to liquid right now is a mix that I whipped up with mint and dark chocolate. I’ve been sucking that one down pretty much religiously so I’ve narrowed down my focus on what I like. Also, had a bout of vapers tongue again but that’s been fixed since it was from a day where I wasn’t hydrating myself enough and my sense of taste decided to take a vacation. No worries, it came back but still…

anyhow, that’s it for now.

Happy vaping!

Day 42 – Morning

Tools: Same… Though I’ve learned that that tester “Lemon” liquid I was making the other day with the second flavouring kit was way, way, way, way too strong. Now, I’m a big fan of lemon so this might sound like heresy but consider that we’re dealing with concentrated flavouring agents that are both from natural and artificial flavour ingredients… As such, the lemon liquid started taking on a very strong plastic-ey smell to it. I learned why… The Flavour Apprentice’s “Lemon” is very, very, very potent. More potent than I’d ever though it would be and as such I diluted the liquid with some unflavoured base (That’s how I mix testers… I have a bottle of unflavoured nic-liquid that I use for testing new mixes.) Before it was at about 20% flavour… now it’s resting at about 2-3%. This one goes a long way and too much I’ve learned brings out that nasty plastic smell to it. The taste also started coming on STRONGER as I diluted it which makes me think that the taste was being negatively affected by the plastic smell. Now that it’s at a more respectable concentration it’s like I’m biting into a slice of lemon. That’s a good thing if you’re me because I loves me some lemon!😉

Analog: The tobacco is getting dry again… As much as stuffing my own was a great way to cut costs, it isn’t usually the best way to have a smoke and I’m really realizing that the taste and smell when fresh are actually not that unpleasant… but when the tobacco is dry and stale, it’s pretty nasty. Maybe that’s why I’ve been all “mindlessly” smoking them for the longest time? When I take the time to actually taste and smell it, it’s kinda nasty. So, I guess if the tobacco companies wanted to stay alive in this vaping revolution the best bet would be to find a way to make sure they have a means to keep their product as fresh as possible because I’m going to admit it, as I am now there are times when an analog scratches the right itch and I know I’m not alone in that because I’ve read about a lot of smokers that go to vaping that still have a cig once in a while… So maybe there’s an opportunity for them to maybe sell smaller packs with three or four in them for a toonie or something like that where people that want a cig but don’t want the hassle of having to deal with an entire pack can get their cigarette cravings satisfied and not wind up with a pack that goes nasty and stale and dry. Phillip-Morris… If you’re reading this, might want to get on that one. You might just find that more and more people would buy the smaller packages (and to be blunt the inner “marketing” person is insisting that the profit-margin on those could be higher than a regular pack. Heck, for two dollars I’d think that five would probably be a good price.

Other than that, not much else on my mind. I really do want to play around with some of the new flavours that came in but I do have work to do today… That said, however, one of the flavours I got was a “cheesecake” flavour that was stated as having esters of butter… I don’t know (because google isn’t helping in that respect) if this means diacetyl or the precursors to it’s formation… but that liquid kinda smells very strongly of cheese. Almost like an ementhal. But that IS the concentrated flavour after all so chances are if it’s diluted properly it might be more like a cheesecake as opposed to regular cheese.

Happy vaping and here’s to better health!

Day 41 – Evening

Tools: The usual…. However, checking the mail and a second order of flavouring agents came in today. This one has larger quantities of the flavours I’m going to be using for the liquid that I’ll be sending out to the tasters I’ve got lined up (since if this pans out it’s going to be a flavour that I might seriously consider selling on the side. Being completely blunt here but the profit-margin is just so high and this industry is insanely big… And I could use some extra money too.) So, with that I’ve been doing some last minute tasting of the liquid that I’ve whipped up but also made a couple more. This time the new mix is just a plain lemon flavour because I’ve been doing some research and it’s unclear whether there are trace amounts of diacetyl in the lemon meringue flavour (it is apparently a big thing in “Crust” flavours… So, since I’m vaping because it’s healthier and cheaper I kinda want to avoid vaping that one.)

Analog: Nothing really remarkable about this one. It’s the second one today though so there’s that… Which means that if I can keep this up I’ll be poised to finally ditch the smokes entirely in favour of the vape.

Other than that there isn’t much on my mind regarding vaping stuff. There are bills going through various government halls trying to cause issues so I think I’ve dodged a bullet if they all pass by getting this kit because I’ve got enough to last me for close to a year (maybe more if I wean myself to lower and lower nicotine strengths.)

Happy vaping and here’s to better health!

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