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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