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# How much water does sheet gelatin absorb?

I know I learned years ago that when you convert a recipe from powdered gelatin to sheet gelatin you have to take into account the liquid.  The sheet gelatin absorbs a set amount of liquid and you need to know that amount in order to make sure you keep the liquid content is the same.  I am sure I have it in a book but the book is packed in a box and I can't find anything to help answer this question.  Can anyone out there help out?

Thanks.

Powdered gelatine will absorb water as well--it has to, it's the same stuff as sheet gelatine just ground up.

The amount of water absorbtion between the two is negligable--maybe half a teaspoon or or so.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......

1 tablespoon of powdered gelatin equals 4 sheets

1/4 oz Gelatin to 1 pt Liquid = Delicate Gel

1/2 oz Gelatin to 1 pt Liquid = Coating Gel

1   oz  Gelatin to 1 pt Liquid = Sliceable Gel

1 1/4 oz - 1 1/2 oz Gelatin to 1 pt Liquid = Firm gel

2 oz Gelatin to 1 pt Liquid = Mousse-strength gel

I think I need to rephrase my question.  I have a recipe that calls for 3 pkg or .75 oz. powdered gelatin.  I converted the amount of gelatin to 10.5 sheets.  The original recipe calls for you to soak the powdered gelatin in 1/2 C. cold water.  It is not possible to soak 10.5 sheets in 1/2 C. of water. You also cannot add the sheet gelatin plus 1/2 C. of water to the recipe as that will be too much water since the gelatin has already absorbed some.  You need to add the amount of water minus the amount the gelatin absorbed.

I am looking for the formula that tells you how to do that part of the conversion.

Thanks.

Why not crumple up the sheet gelatin and put it into the 1/2 cup of water? In other words, "powder" the sheets?

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer

You're making this more complicated than it is.

Soak your 10.5  sheets in as much water as needed, squeeze them dry, and proceed as normal.

Dry gelatine, powdered or sheet, will absorb water.  The amount of water absorbed by the two types doesn't differ very much, if at all.

Try this at home:

Put, say 2 tbsp of pwdr. gelatin in a bowl, and cover with water, as much as possible.  The granules will swell and absorb only so much water, this is the saturation point.  Same with sheet gelatine, it will swell , and has the same saturation point too,  but sheet gleatine is much easier to handle.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......

Jynyphyr:

Like Chef Pete mentioned. Bloom your gelitin and the transfer it into a measurer. You'll probably be close anyway,or sqqueeze and add h2o to 1/2 cup.

You really need to go by weight. Sheets are in three sizes and counts per box so written conversions are not always right. Pork is going to have a higher bloom factor 200+

Beef is less strong 150.

hth

panini

I almost made it through the thread of the previous. The amount of sheets vary for clarity,taste, and color. Dosen't have anything to do with dollars.

200,400.600 count, it doesn't matter, the weight is the same per box. If you are using a light sheet it will be 3 to 1 if the recipe calls for 1-600ct sheet.

Have I thouroughly confused you now?LOL.  The sheets they use in Europe are usually heavier. Make it difficult to convert.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!

For the benefit of the home cooks  1 envelope of Knox gelatin will do 1 pint of liquid just right. Dissolve in cold liquid snd then heat or add to hot liquid after dissolved in cold

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume).
Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume).
Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

To add to chefedb's recommendation, take a look at Knox Gelatin Basics, which includes a conversion between gelatin powder and sheets as well as recommended quantities and methods.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer

Chef Pete,

I took a look at Knox. I respectfully dissagree with there coment. Not all sheet gelitin is the same. So their method is bogus.

I'm just goin on what I have learned. I have been working with many types of gelitin over my 35+ yrs. in pastry.

Gelatin is an ingredient, not an additive. Some is made with pork and some with beef..pork having higher bloom strenght for mixed use. The beef is less strength, clearer and used more in Garde Manger.

The volume formula that Chef Ed post is how you treat gelatin. But cross referencing cannot be exact until proven.

My problem is getting my thoughts from my mind to the keyboard. I confuse myself LOL. My digits are usually 10 steps behind.

I really like the ingredient. I had a raspberry Bavoise at a hotel function last month that I could have bounced off a wall.

Keep your box of gelitin sheets. Call or pull up the brand and they will usually have the conversion for you. We write it on the box.

Try to rebuy the same amount of sheets per pound to keep things straight. We use a 600 ct because we also use it for certain types of glazes.

panini

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!

Note

There are other brands  besides Knox. Every grocery house packs under their own label. The bloom count in most cases is lower on theirs , thats why it's cheaper, but it will not gel the same amount of liquid and if it does it will be of a different degree of firmness and not consistant.

I am a firm believer in saving a buck  but when it comes to certain things I am not . This is one of them, as is Helmans, Heinz etc."" The old addage you get what you pay for ''' still applies.      P/S    I have used sheet gel more when I did Garde' Manger and Decorateur work.

Edited by chefedb - 4/10/11 at 4:14am

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume).
Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume).
Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Here we go, hope this helps. Most sheets weight about 1/10 of a oz. (3 g), The amount of liquid to soften is not that important, if you use 2 teaspoons (10 ml) per sheet.Once softened you can place in a Bain - Marie to melt. To use the sheets on a recipe calling for sheets make sure the weights are the same or calculate 1 sheet of gelatine to 3 teaspoons (3 g) of powdered gelatine.Squeeze the water out of the sheets omitting any of the water from the soaking of the sheets. Melt the sheets and add to your recipe.Remember do not add the water the sheets were soaking in.5 sheets gelatin   1/2 (15g) or 5 teaspoons (25 ml) unflavored gelatin powder1 sheet gelatin     1/10 (3 g) or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) unflavored gelatin1 ounce of unflavored gelatin     10 sheets of gelatin3 tablespoons (45 ml) unflavored gelatin 9 sheets gelatin     1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5) unflavored gelatin    1 1/2 sheets gelatin. Hope this helps some what and isn't to confusing

GoodChef,

Oh, Now I understand completely!! LOL

I can't stop visualizing Lewis Black spouting WWHHAATT???????????

Sorry:>D

Now these sheets, are they 200 or 400 or 600 count to the pound?  or whatever prescious metal they attach to them silver bronze gold platinum,etc.

wait, 1/10 oz would be  160 count to the pound. That reminds me of the sheets used in Europe.

I have never used powder but I still am a little confused.

I'm thinking there is a need for a conversionchart to be formulated with brand, bloom strength etc. or find one that exists.

pan

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!

True, the Euros use gold, silver, and bronze sheets,and it's true that each varieity is a bit smaller than the the previous.

But...

"Gold" is a higher bloom strength, less is needed to gel a standard unit of water, it is the smallest sheet available

"Silver" is a bit weaker, therefore more is needed (larger sheet) to gel the same standard unit.

"Bronze" is the weakest bloom strength, and the largest sheet available,(also the cheapest) more of it is needed to gel the same unit of water.

For the others,

"Bloom" refers to the strenght of the gelatin, it is measured in a device called a "bloom-0-meter, invented by, you guessed it, a Mr. Bloom.  A specific amount of gelatin is mesured and gelled with a specific amount of water and allowed to congeal.  This is placed under a device that plunges a rod into the mixture, and a measurement is taken of how far the plunger goes into the gel.

The Euros use sheet gleatin becasue they find it very practical and easy to dispense and dissolve.  The sheets are a hang-over of the glue manufacturing where glue (very similiar to gelatin) was cut into slices and dried on nets (this is why the sheets have the fishnet pattern as well).  Much like gleatin, the glue was dissolved in water and heated, there is furniture dating back to Egyptian times that still is solid using animal glues, not to mention any piece of furniture made before 1920.

A certain Mr. Cooper in the USA (of price waterhouse cooper fame) started his business empire by making glue back in the 1800's and branched out into food grade gelatin.  It was his company that first started the powered gelatin, which was used in "Jell-o".   Jell-O itself has a very long and uh..."interesting" history

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......

Foodpump,

Hey.

So I should't be doubling up on my gold sheets if it calls for generic sheet.?  I'm using beef which I thought was weaker.

pan

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!

Take a look at Gelatin Basics , it covers conversions as well as the differences in bloom strength

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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