So I want to talk about nicotine. I have a few things I think everyone should know.
Respect for nicotine and careful handling is very important. It can be purchased in a wide variety of strengths. I would suggest you start with a low concentration. There is no right answer for what you should buy. That, just like with flavoring, is a personal preference. If you are unfamiliar with how it is measured by strength I can explain that. The most common ranges are from 36mg to 100mg. If it is measured by percentage those change to 3.6% to 10%. People are often confused and think that 100mg is pure nicotine. That is not the case. The biggest caution I have is the stronger you buy, the higher safety and measuring practices are required. If you spill any or get it on your skin, it needs to be cleaned up or washed off your skin as soon as possible. Nicotine does absorb through your skin. This is how the patches work in NRT. Once nicotine enters your system it has to wear off. This is why I say start with a low concentration. Why create worry you don’t need to have? Learn how to handle it and get more comfortable with measuring. You will make some messes. It happens to everyone.
The base you order it in is another personal preference. I order all of my nicotine base in 100% pg because I think it is easier to work with. VG is thick and I measure with a pipette pump. The pumps are not friendly with thick liquids. I make all of my eliquid in a 50/50 pg/vg blend. Why? Because that is what I like. PG is known to carry flavor better while producing less vapor. VG produces more vapor while muting flavor to some degree. I like the middle ground of both.
Storage of your nicotine base is pretty easy. I keep a small bottle in my mixing cupboard (which locks) at room temp. for day to day mixing. All of the rest of my nicotine is kept in the freezer (which also locks). Nicotine will keep in the freezer for a very long time without losing strength. Keep it in glass so it doesn’t pick up “flavor” from the other things in the freezer. HDPE and LPDE will allow air through it. Oh, those are plastic by the way. I will write more on plastics at some other point. If your glass is not dark colored, I suggest you put the bottle in a brown paper bag just to make sure you limit the amount of light allowed to get to it. Light will oxidize nicotine. Oxidization is not very tasty. We DIY because we like tasty things.
There is constant debate on who has the best nicotine. I will say that if you like XYZ then you should buy from XYZ. I have a certain vendor I get 90% of my nicotine from and have been for years. Occasionally you may get a lower quality than usual. This is a bit of the nature of the beast. We are talking about an extraction process from something that grows in the ground. It will not be exactly the same in flavor every single time. One of the few things I will not ever discuss is the extraction process. That, my friends, should only ever be done by professionals in vented clean rooms and never in your home. Really, don’t even consider it. Be safe.
Flavor clue of the month is Lemon Sicily. If you are looking for a lemon that is all flavor and low on the jaw clench, this is the one you have been looking for. I am currently working on a lemon shortbread cookie recipe. I think I have it where I want it. I will let you know next month. If I had to tell you a starting point for this one 3% is it.