About 3 months ago I bought a 500ml bottle of 72mg nicotine in a 100% VG base. The best before date is 05/21.it’s in an amber glass bottle and It’s stored in a cool dark place in my shed which at this time of year is fairly cool. I make my desired strength in mixes at 3mg. I make my juice , let it steep then add the nic about a day before I use it and give it a good shake both when I’ve added it and again when I’m about to start using it. My last couple juices have been quite harsh . The colour of the nicotine is normal but does smell really strong , almost like a cigarette. I haven’t previously smelled it so don’t have anything to compare it too. Could it be the start of its degradation? Any help is appreciated . I’m not even half way through the bottle and would be a shame to chuck it but I wanted some expert advice before doing so
If you are constantly opening and closing the bottle, yes, it can oxidise quicker, which would lead to some taste change and a more “harsh” vape, but the nicotine itself “should” still be as strong as the day you bought it. Of course, it would depend on how you are storing the bottle, and if any other contaminant (besides the oxygen) has gotten into the mix.
So personally I’d take the harsh hit and vape it, still better than the stinkers and it should do it’s job okay.
I have just bought some amber glass bottles to decanter some smaller amounts into , and then will store the big bottle in the freezer to prolong it , as I did wonder if the opening and closing it frequently was causing it harm. May drop the nic level to 1.5 mg . Thanks for the reply
@Jammer1 I’m a zealot when it comes to NIC, and can only offer my system, you’ll have to decide for yourself what works for you.
First, your NIC IS oxidized. If it’s not going darker, then there may be some hope, but it’s on it’s way if it smells like that.
I keep ALL of my NIC in my freezers, and never deviate from that. I buy in gallons now, and break down all into 60, 120ml, 500ml bottles for DEEP storage, and top them off with Argon gas. That is the bulk of my stores. I then have one smaller bottle that I use in a regular freezer, which gets opened/closed/shaken at every mixing, so it is the ONLY bottle getting exposed, and freeze/thawed.
I would strongly advise a similar system for you. Even if it is “cooler” in your shed, it’s not like storing in a freezer full time. Another thing to take note of is what @yodaofborg said. You ALWAYS want to break your NIC down into multiple bottles. Why ?? If you have one 500ml jug and even IF you froze it, your ENTIRE batch would be exposed to heat/light/oxygen/freeze/thaw cycles which will speed up the oxidation.
The game here is to expose the SMALLEST amount of your NIC to these elements, therefore minimizing the impact on the rest of your NIC.
Well harm is a strong word, but every time you freeze/thaw, or expose to heat, air, light, oxidation increases. If you break down your NIC into say 60ml (or smaller bottles depending on how fast you go through it), only that SMALL amount will experience accelerated oxidation, and the REST of your NIC will be safely sleeping in it’s dark, cool freezer. The impact on your small bottle will be negligible as you will use it up before any heavy oxidation occurs.
Say you purchased a new, fresh 500ml bottle of NIC, you could pick up (9) 60ml amber glass bottles, and break it up into them. Leave (8) in deep freeze, while only working out of one of them, until empty, then you could start on the next 60ml bottle, and so on.
Thanks @SessionDrummer would you suggest freezing it and hoping it can be saved or just buy a new bottle? Also have I got to wait for the nic to come to room temperature before adding it to a mix ?
Great questions, and all I can offer is my opinion. I’d say toss it after you get some fresh NIC. Once it turns, it never comes back.
I also HIGHLY recommend using gloves, and eye protection when breaking down your NIC for safety. Some people use every time they mix with it, but I don’t, but I ALWAYS do when breaking my NIC down.
As far as the bringing up to room temp, that will depend. I tried using 100%VG NIC for a bit, but it was hard to work with, and prevent hot spots (not thoroughly shaken, with high/low NIC). I’m not PG sens so I switched to 100% PG NIC, and never looked back.
I take my NIC out of the freezer, shake it, use it, put it right back in the freezer, with no waiting for anything to warm up. Easy peasy.
@SessionDrummer has this down regarding storage and usage. Nothing to add or detract there. On a separate thought, I switched from free base to salts because throat irritation increased over time after quitting the analogs. Analogs have chemicals to anesthetize the throat and mask throat irritation. Obviously, e-juice does not.
@Jammer1 let you in on an “incident” that happened to me, a seasoned mixer/vaper/DIY’er.
Was breaking down a gallon of 100mg NIC into bottles, filling, capping, and repeating. The gallon just came out of the freezer and was cold, and was slowly warming as I broke it down. I left very LITTLE headspace (air space) in each bottle, capped, and repeated. Before I could finish I had a cap POP off the bottle (assuming expansion as it was coming up to room temp, investigated, and “chinked” a bottle into another, and a few of the bottles BROKE. Not a safe thing to have happen. Luckily was wearing gloves, goggles, and cleaned it up safely.
Leave at least 1 inch or more headspace in each bottle, and if you’re super concerned like me, you can top them off with Argon, which is heavier than air, and will displace it OUT of the bottle, and then cap off.
Thank you @SmilingOgre, and great points on freebase vs. salts.
@Jammer1 I have much of what I use in my must have list …
That sounds like you were very lucky and had the PPE SAVE you from something that could have been very fatal. I wear gloves all the time when handling nic or just mixing in general but hadn’t thought of wearing eye wear , which is a very good point. May I ask what does the argon do? Isn’t that a welding gas ?
Are salts more expensive ?
At liquid Wholesalers salts are one dollar more for 120ml @ 100mg/ml.
@Jammer1 “blanketing” may seem extreme, but if you have lots of bottles in a deep freeze, extra precautions never hurts. It blankets the NIC, or tops off the bottle in Argon gas, displacing ALL of the air, and therefore allowing you to leave as much headspace as you want, with no concerns that your NIC will be exposed to air during it’s deep freeze.
I take it salts are alot smoother than freebase then ?
Thank you for your reply, will have to see if I can get here over the pond
They are smoother. I think “alot” is a good description but I can’t qualify that.
When salts where first introduced they were sold in pod systems. The idea was that pods would be used by folks just quitting analogs and would require greater concentrations of nicotine to be satisfied. Manufacturers could increase the concentration of the nicotine while not introducing greater irritation to the throat. A myth developed that salts were only to be used in pods. Salt at 2mg/ml is the same dose of nic as free base 2mg/ml.
@SessionDrummer has given good advice and you nic may be oxidized.
But the other thing I am thinking about are hot spots in your nic. Early in my mixing das 5 years ago, I ran into an issue with hot spots in my nic that was suspended in pg. I had given a “good” shake and started to dispense nic over an extended period. All my mixes from that batch were jacked up.
The following batch was fine so it led me to the theory that I really didn’t shaken up my nic or it settled a bit.
Although it doesn’t make complete sense…it does to me…my nic wasn’t shaken up well enough even though it was pg based. If using vg based nic then you need to be even more diligent…and you really have to have a really good shake.
At this point I always have my nic in the freezer in smaller bottles…30-120ml bottles. I mix all of my recpies first without nic. Then ready to add nic I shake up my nic really good…then roll through adding nic to about 18-28 separately prepared mixes.
My method doesn’t match everyone else’s methodology but for me I am sensitive to nic. I would recommend doing a couple test batches with you nic…and shake the shit out of you nic.