Q.

Gelatin Bloom Strength Questions

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A.

Q: How much 240 bloom gelatin would I need to set 100ml (or if easier 1L) of water?

A: Technically bloom strength is a measure of the firmness of the resulting gel of equivalent blends of water and gelatin. In other words, 240 bloom gelatin will set firmer than 120 bloom gelatin. However, bloom potency also has an effect on the amount of gelatin you need to gel the same amount of water to an equivalent firmness.

This page on Chef Steps states that a sheet (1.7g) of Platinum strength gelatin (235-265 bloom strength) is sufficient to gel 100ml of liquid to a soft, but turn-able texture. Increasing the liquid or reducing the liquid will result in a softer or firmer set respectively. For example, they suggest that increasing the liquid to 125ml will result in a set too soft to be served as self-supporting pieces.

I also found a bloom strength conversion chart that will allow you to switch between gelatin varieties of different bloom strengths.

Q: Will the same amount of gelatin set a 50/50 blend of vodka and water? Is there a alcohol percentage where it will fail to set?

A: Alcohol will actually increase the resulting gel strength, up to a certain point. According to food science expert Harold McGee in “On Food & Cooking” – at somewhere beyond 30%-50% alcohol in the gelling mixture gelatin will precipitate out of the solution into solid particles, spoiling the clarity of your gel (or worse, ruining the texture/set).

Working with alcohol and gelatin is a little more complicated than it first appears for two reasons:

1) Like many other gelling agents/hydrocolloids, gelatin is affected by acid. Acids below pH 4 (like wine) will weaken the gel strength. While we’re on the subject, in case it’s helpful, here’s a food pH chart for reference.

2) It’s unlikely that you’ll be working with 100% alcohol, so you’ll need to take your spirit’s actual strength into account when figuring out what percentage you can get away with. The bottle will generally be labelled with a percent alcohol by volume (AbV) and/or a Proof # (which is twice the alcohol percent).

– Questions Submitted by Youtube User D4NNYT92




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12 Responses to “Gelatin Bloom Strength Questions”

  1. 1
    Daniel says:

    Thanks you so much! This information is really great.

    After reading the information. If I am correct, 17 grams of gelatin will set 1L of liquid?
    If the spirit I add to the gelatin is 40%, what ratio of water to spirit could I get away with at 17 grams and still obtain a firm setting gelatin.

  2. 2
    Daniel says:

    Also, how does sugar affect the gelatin? If possible could you provide a rough guide of how much sugar I would need to add per 100ml?

    Ive been reading up, and alot of recipies use simple syrup. It seems its just sugar and water. however i think this would make the over recipe more complicated for myself. as id have to rudce the overall water in the recipe because the syrup contains water. what would you suggest?

  3. 3
    Matthew says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Sucrose (standard cane sugar) will strengthen the gel. I’m not aware of a percentage above which sugar concentration is a problem.

    If you’re looking to reduce the overall water content, I’d simply dissolve your preferred amount of sugar in a smaller amount of water, you’re still going to be effectively making a syrup (simple syrup is most commonly a 50/50 solution of water & table sugar), of course, but there’s no reason you can’t make it a more concentrated one.

    Matthew
    MarxFoods

  4. 4
    Matthew says:

    Daniel,

    I would think that amount of gelatin should work, yes, though I don’t know if the set would be as firm as you’d like…you’d have to experiment to see if you get what you’re looking for. Be careful not to boil the liquid when dissolving gelatin, as that can negatively effect the gel’s strength.

    As to the alcohol’s concentration, I think, assuming my math & understanding of the alcohol percentage rule right, that you can take it up to 75% spirit for a 40% AbV spirit. I haven’t experimented with this personally however.

    Matthew
    MarxFoods

  5. 5
    Daniel says:

    Would you know anything about the shelf life of ready made jelly in an airtight sealed pot. Would you think it would last longer than common brands such a Hartleys jelly pots, or would the alcohol stat to ferment with the sugar?

  6. 6
    Matthew says:

    Sorry Daniel, I really have no idea:(

    Matthew
    MarxFoods

  7. 7
    Daniel says:

    Its okay. you have been most helpful. you have provided me with enough information to get started. ill have to do some experimenting.

    Thank you for the help!

  8. 8
    Matthew says:

    My pleasure! Good luck!

  9. 9
    Daniel says:

    Hello again!

    After some successful tests, I am now starting to refine my Gelatin recipes. I have been looking at an eclectic mix of gelling agents and found myself baffled as I didnt know which ones I should use. I have predominantly been using animal gelatin, but also tried using Agar. I have been looking into Xanthan gum, Locust bean gum and Gellan gum, but not yet used.

    If I’m correct, animal gelatin, Agar and Gellan gum are all similar in a sense that they set liquids. Whereas Xanthan gum and Locust bean gum are thickeners?

    Would there be any point in mixing animal gelatin and Xanthan gum, or Is It not needed. I’m not entirely sure what affects It has on a gel and how beneficial it would be.

    hope to hear from you soon,

    Daniel

  10. 10
    Matthew says:

    Hi Daniel,

    I haven’t looked into the interaction between gelatin and xanthan gum yet, but will try to do so in the next few days/week (crazy busy at the moment with tight deadlines).

    You are correct than xanthan and locust bean gum are thickeners rather than gelling agents, but I’ve read that when combined they actually work together to produce an elastic gel. I haven’t experimented with doing so personally.

    I highly recommend checking out the usage info showcased on our molecular gastronomy product pages. I put a lot of work/research into describing the usage, properties & synergies for each compound & I think you would find it extremely useful.

    I’ll try to get back to you on your gelatin question soon!

    Matthew
    Marx Foods

  11. 11
    Daniel says:

    From what ive read, I’m guessing xanthan gum may reduce the cost of gelatin in a product if the two items are compatible. Apprently xanthan gum has roughly double thickening capabilities compared to gelatin. I havnt tested this, and it will also depend on the bloom of the gelatin. I have atempted to mix Xanthan and gelatin however encountered problems.The gel became lumpy caused by the xathan clumping together. I have looked into production of xanthan gum and High shear mixers are used, which produce a smooth consistent paste.
    If you manage to sucessfully combine the two products I would bevery interested in your findings.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Daniel.

  12. 12
    Matthew says:

    Hi again Daniel,

    We still haven’t messed with combining the two. I did find one synergistic effect that you might find interesting. Apparently mixing transglutaminase into your base at 1-3% will make gelatin-set gels & foams heat-stable (they didn’t specify which variety). That’s all I’ve got for now, but I thought I’d pass it along.

    Matthew
    Marx Foods