Mixers You Use

Continuing the discussion from What was your worst flavor?:

Just a little side thread on the “Kinematica” @Guitarded that looks awesome mate please let us know how it goes. Finding surplus stuff over here is hard to do and while they are not high shear I managed to pick up a few mixers myself a week or so back.

I have em all set up ready for this week’s mixing sesh - 3x IKA RW 20

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Looks like some really nice stuff. Are the bases hotplates/temp controlled?

I’ll definitely post more about the Kinematica once I run it a few times. I just now replaced a bearing but not because it was bad. It had some crud or corrosion on it so I just threw it away. No sense taking a chance over a $20 bearing.

Good surplus is hard to find anywhere but my sources originated from eBay and now they contact me directly. I have a couple of overhead stirrers I bought from the same guy at a really good price. Retail on the Kinematica is astronomical new so I jumped on this when I heard his price. I bought one with a stand, speed control and motor and another with just the motor and generator. So if I can find another generator I’ll have one to sell and one to keep. New they are out of sight. They are incredibly well made. No Teflon lower bearing. They use bronze. I checked play or run out with a dial indicator. Zero:

I’ve been fascinated by the way they built these which was near impossible to tell without disassembling. Plus, I wanted to measure everything because I’ve been struggling designing and building my own. The volume processed by the Chinese ones these guys have bought has had my head spinning. I’ve been fretting about one or 2 thousandths when I was likely bass ackward about it. :laughing:

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Ya, they are. they have a remote temp probe that allows setting to whatever temp you desire the variation from the set temp and the actual temp is about 1 c they are AME Nanoheat HTL-901EX not cheap but a really good unit.

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This will be long. I have a lot of equipment I’m no longer using and should start there. But Walt, Sparks, and myself have had a long discussion behind the scenes so I’ll try to get to the point while showing some and then focus on a Kinematica Polytron (Swiss) homogenizer I recently purchased.

The current discussion started when Walt and another person purchased Chinese homogenizers which turned out to work very well for making juice and don’t break the bank. I had set out to design a low cost high shear mixer for the DIY crowd and while I made some nice units, the low cost aspect was a total failure. Far too many high precision machining operations plus FDA food compliant materials and bullshit along with tool and machine breakage led me to put everything in box for another day. So how did these Chinese do what I failed at? Read on and I think I can show you.

Everyone knows that I/we use heat to mix. The reason is that not only viscosity decreases, SOLUBILITY increases with heat. Your flavor materials will dissolve and become homogeneous with the VG. Nuff said. Like others I use a sous vide but mine is different. Its a tank of temp controlled water circulated by a magnetic stirrer in the bottom:

Inside is 500 ml of 80 Vg-20 PG heated to 60C or 140 F.

The next shot is my Pro scientific homogenizer with a 10mm generator and to the left is the Kinematica with a 20mm generator:

A comparison between the 10mm and 20mm: (Walt also has a Pro Scientific 10mm)

I first ran the 20mm “K” in 800 mls of water. It threw it out of the jar at high speed.

I then homogenized the 80/20 mix. I am certain that I ran the unit too fast. It didn’t take 30 seconds.

So the issue being sought after is what size generator for what volume of ejuice. I am confident that this 20mm would homogenize close to 2 liters. Walt and I both have 10 mm Pro Scientific generators and I use mine for up to 120 mls. His doesn’t. IIRC correctly his new Asian model uses a 18 mm and it pulls a lot of volume through it. I am certain that the tolerances and gaps are no where near what the higher quality ones are, particularly this “K” that retailed at $4260. 20 years ago. The Pro Scientific models are also high quality. Yet the $200 Asian model is working great for him. It makes my head spin.

There are a lot of other forces taking place inside these homogenizer generators and it seems to me that the precision shear effect may be inconsequential when it comes to slamming our flavor ingredients into a homogeneous mix.

God wouldn’t it nice if we could all set down at a table and do some mixin and stirrin and homogenizin and some good ol bullshittin?

Um @SmilingOgre and @Sprkslfly

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You nailed my thoughts all around. From what I can tell per observation, my 10mm generator will address about 70 cubic centimeters of juice. Very localized movement of juice around the roter. The Asian 18mm generator will address a full 125ml flask from a single position, I’m guessing about 3cm above the bottom of the flask. It creates what I can best describe as a parabolic movement pattern all the way around the roter. I believe this is largely due to the sloppy tolerances which appear to be beneficial to our application. Although I posted a picture including a crock pot for heating the VG, I have also moved to Sous Vide heater of a different style. Next time I mix I will snag a pic. Much faster and more accurate heating method. What I obviously can’t do is a direct comparison between @Guitarded 's probes and my Asian probe. Unfortunately I have only one testing device, my taste buds leaving my findings purely anecdotal and subjective.

Here’s a video that demonstrates my process. Please excuse the cheeky little digs in the beginning as this was made for another forum…

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The best mixing video ever…ever. :grin: There should be some kind of award.

I’ve been concentrating on making generators to mix within small bottles but had never operated one that could pull a much larger volume through the stator tube. On the Pro Scientific models the rotor appears to take up far too much of the internal volume. I assume that is for shearing solids and tissues etc which we aren’t doing. We’re developing hydraulic pressure and forcing liquid/liquid through the internal chamber (workhead) producing cavitation along with the shear effect that’s going to happen regardless of gap. Bottom line is that I was shocked when I ran the “K” for the first time.

Quite awhile back I attempted to photograph juice exiting the stator tubes on the pro scientific units.
They can not be ran without being immersed in liquid or PTFE bushing will puke. Nevertheless I ran mine on the lowest speed where it would pull liquid but it would exit above the stator slots. I was not concerned about the bushing because I can make them in minutes. Notice the star like pattern:

There is a lot of volume going through the 10mm work-head but nothing like how the larger ones work. So, while I have been going in the direction of increasing the throughput it was not until I saw the Asian model and ran the “k” last night that I understood how much difference the larger tube can make for liquid/liquid mixing. I’m on it.

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You guys are Mix Masters, I love it. Obviously I have nothing to add but I love this. And will be watching!

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Wonderfull!!! That’s lookin a lot more like my Fung-Gooy probe. Each slot produces it’s own parabolic mixing pattern just like the peaks your seeing around the top of your pic. Can’t wait to hear your assessment of the finished e-juice!

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Easy there my friend. This Ogre is following the lead of Master @Guitarded. You could think of me like Beaker.

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Well, you’re not in this by shear luck…

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However we got here, I’m convinced we’re in the right place. @Guitarded has overcome massive resistance to be able to present his process @woftam has an understanding of the chemicals used in e-juice that simply blows my mind. I’ll be awhile wrapping my head around all that he’s published. That’s just naming two in this thread. This forum is a talent trust that is simply amazing.

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I did not know a lot about the past resistance that was shown when these methodologies were first presented. I know now, and that is a borderline evil attack he faced, for reasons I still do not understand.

But, once I began to listen and read about his theories and practices, it became clear to me that this was ‘the answer’ so many mixers were seeking regarding more rapid maturation of our DIY juice. I do not have the key component to the ‘instant steeping’ (the high shear mixer), but even I was able to shave at least 80% off the shelf time by simply applying some of his teachings to my mixing. 60c, USC, Sous Vide… they go a long ways to shortening the wait time. So do I believe that the high shear mixer will eliminate the rest of the wait? You bet. It’s fascinating to see Science making quick work of juice maturation, and inspiring to see the grand efforts being put forth to make it possible for all of the DIY community to achieve.

I think in the long run, @Guitarded will be regarded as a major player, rather than be vilified. And I love it.

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If this is just a bit too far out of scope, let me know and I will delete it.

Here’s my perspective over time of this ‘steeping’ thing. When I began mixing in 2015, of course I was like everyone else- knowing that it took time for the juice to mature, but wishing there was a faster way. All internet searching told me the same thing, with different reasons: Time, Father Time, is the only way to get a mature profile. Some said it was due to the needed oxidation, some mentioned homogenization, but all said there was no other way to achieve it.

So, when I got better at this vaping/mixing thing and began to guide and advise others, I too taught the same page from the book. “Sorry guys, but it just takes time”.

Then I learned that it was not oxidation that helped juices mature (which is actually an enemy of juice and not a friend), but it was instead the grand atrophy of the resistance of molecular integration (I know that’s a dumb way to say it but it sounds nifty to me. Of course I mean homogenization) that leads to the disparate components of the juice coming together that ultimately produces the ‘steeped’ result.

So, I began saying, and still do today, that YES you can get a juice to maturity instantly using mechanical means, and avoid the time steeping element. However, it is not cost effective for a casual DIY mixer.

And soon, thanks to your research and development, I will be able to say “You bet you can have instantly ready juice! All you need is a modestly priced bit of kit.”

And frankly, once this high shear methodology makes its’ way into the collective conscious of the DIY community, I sense a revolution. Because- No longer will one need to wait on 5 different % tests of an SFT. No longer will one have to wait to see if a recipe needs tweaking. No longer will one have to wait to see if the tweaking was sufficient. You can SFT several %'s, build a recipe, test it, tweak it, and finalize it in a day if you felt like it, rather than months. Were that available to me when I started mixing, it would have changed the mixer I am today, I guarantee it.

So, thanks to you, @Guitarded, for your relentless work. And thanks to you, @SmilingOgre, for spreading the word. Did I mention I love this?

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There are a lot of variables involved in all of this both physical and psychological. First off, I never bonded with the term steeping. It’s what you do to tea. I try not to use the term. When I do a mix it is most often replacing the same recipe that is around a month old. It takes me about that long to vape 120ml of any one mix. If the mix being replaced was done with non heated VG and a mag stirrer the new mix done with heated VG and the homogenizer is consistently better right after mixing. If both mixes were done with heated VG and the homogenizer I perceive no difference. A mix done without heating and a mag stirrer will improve over time. To date I haven’t found a recipe that does not follow these results.

There is one caveat that I have not thoroughly discussed with @Guitarded as of yet. After applying the homogenizer, I put the mix into an ultrasonic cleaner for 5 minutes. This too mixes but the reason for doing this is to expel the gas bubbles formed by the homogenizer. Right out of the USC many of my mixes are a tad harsh. Homogenizer manufacturers talk about a “settling time” after application of the homogenizer. I’m not sure how long that time is exactly. I let mine settle overnight. At that point they are 100%. I don’t find that necessary with SFT’s as the “harshness” is very minute and I can ignore that aspect as it will not effect a final mix. It consistently disappears after settling.

That is about all I can say with confidence. It’s obviously all anecdotal. I don’t use every flavor made. Per my experience I gain nothing from letting my mixes sit for extended periods of time.

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Wow. I don’t think it is and I appreciate the perspectives. We all have our areas of knowledge and experience and I have learned a ton about this hobby/life style from many very generous people. Most of then are here at this community. So if I can make a contribution to this life saving activity, then its my pleasure. Simple as that. The day I stop learning and pursuing new things will (I hope) be the day they plant me in the gound. :grin:

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I understand why you say that, since there are strict protocols that separate our ‘home science experiments’ from cold, hard data. But, that is the best we can do. Also, this isn’t (shouldn’t be, anyway) something that faces intense scrutiny and criticism. It is about a method of achieving juice maturity for a DIY community. Anecdotal is sufficient.

And I could not agree more with your assessment of the word ‘steeping’. Not only is it a different chemical process that does not occur with vape juice, but it is also an annoying damn term that I hate. I reference it only because of its’ place in the community vernacular. Everyone understands what it means, even if it is an improper term to use.

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We’re definitely seeing eye to eye. While I appreciate more scientific approaches to all of the disciplines involved in making e-juice, at the end of the day the final judgement will be made with my sense of taste. With the plethora of ingredients used in flavor compositions, I don’t want to negate the possibility that something may benefit from sitting in a way that our process does not replicate or replace. If such a case exists, I haven’t run across it. It is also unlikely that I will with the publication of my method. If challenged with a particular recipe from someone else, I will most likely decline performing testing as my focus is to make recipes that I enjoy, not necessarily promote my process. As you have contended however, this is a viable process that should command a degree of respect and consideration. With many here at VC it does but this is an exceptional group of folks. I will say this, I published my video on ELR and incurred no blow back. Now that I have written this watch, all hell will break loose, lol. I would hope that is an indication of some degree of acceptance not just a fear of being eaten by an Ogre.

I’m glad to see your interest in this method and would be thrilled to see others benefit from it as well. While $200.00 for a Chinese homogenizer may seem like a sizable investment when cast against the cost of the smoking habit, it is insignificant. @Guitarded has landed some truly amazing deals on high end equipment as well. He guided me to finding a motor/generator combination that cost under $500.00. Again, affordable when compared to $100.00/ month habit. I absolutely love @woftam 's system but I am unwilling to attempt to generate income with my hobby at my age. Regardless, his system opens a lot of insight into the overall mixing process. I would love for @woftam to elaborate a little more on the high speed overhead mixers as I am imagining they share some of the properties that homogenizers exhibit.

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I’ve noticed the same thing and don’t think I know enough chemistry to figure it out. Like you I typically mix in the evening and let it set overnight. By then all or most harshness disappears. The only exception is when I use something with a lot of alcohol which I seldom do but even then 12 to 24 hours and its gone.

My guess is that they use various chemicals to dissolve and suspend flavor materials in PG which separate and evaporate the same as alcohol . I’ve noticed with extraction methods alcohol is used to extract the flavors and is then cooked off. So my guess is that as the flavor materials meld, chain, infuse, ?? they are heavier and the lighter more volatile ingredients evaporate.

I imagine there are hundreds of different chemicals being used which would make this damned near impossible to quantify but those harsh notes disappear quickly so the evaporative process seems logical to me.

I look at homogenization as more of a physical process.

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Those were my suspicions but I really wanted and appreciate your opinion. I also wrote them off to unwanted volatiles. I can’t draw a comparison to “steeping” regarding this. Sorry, had to use the word to punctuate the political aspect of the differential.

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