Gelatin conversion

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1 Envelope of Knox brand gel will do 2 cups or 1pint of liquid ( water based ) I would suggest in a pastry cream to put a drop less liquid to assure stability.
 
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While there are variations by brand, country, quality, etc., it's actually a standard conversion. I'm surprised no one picked it up with a Google search. When it comes to making the conversion, caveat lector, standard doesn't mean perfect.

Most common rule: 1 pack of gelatin = 7.1 gms (approximately) = 1/4 oz (exactly) = 4 sheets (about) = 1 tbs granulated (about). However, note that 1 pack of gelatin usually = 2.5 (and not 3.0) tsp.

Slightly less common rule: 1-1/2 sheets of gelatin = 1 tsp granulated. This translates to: 4-1/2 sheets = 1 tbs, a 12.5% difference.

King Arthur Flour rule: 5 sheets = 1 tbs. Bogus. They ought to know better.
Okay, BDL. So basically what you're saying is that for each sheet of gelatin called for in a recipe, one should substitute a scant 3/4 tsp Knox granulated, right?
 
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Chris,

Sure.  But don't clench up too much when you measure. 

If you're using gelatin in such small quantities, and use use a full tsp instead, it's not going to make to much a difference.  In most areas of cooking OCD precision measuring tends to be more of a trap than an actually productive technique.

In the other forum (Fred's) you're talking about a lot about technique trumping equipment.  The practice of converting recipes to amounts which are easily measured -- or better yet, eyeballed -- is one of those techniques.  Of course I am not and have never been a pastry chef.

Anyway...

Gelatin amounts are flexible, not that there aren't differences.  For instance, if you were making a "fine dining" panna cotta you'd use less gelatin rather than more (say 2 sheets, by way of example), but if you were making one for buffet service you'd use more rather than less (perhaps 4 sheets).  But 2 tsp of powdered would leave you good to go for any purpose.

BDL 
 
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Oh great. Now you tell me. I was just getting in the habit of doing everything by mass, and now you say it doesn't matter. Typical California frou-frou laissez-faire stuff.

Just kidding. Thanks.
 
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I read once, maybe on this forum or another, not sure, that there is also a qualitative difference between the results with sheet gelatin and powdered. 

I like the powdered in making bavarian cream,  because i beat it into the egg yolks directly and it softens there, and then heats up in the cream itself as it cooks.  I find the added step of soaking and squeezing out a sheet to be just added pain in the neck, an extra pot, extra heating, etc.  And also annoying to treat foodstuffs like laundry!

Someone above (vabutterfly) hinted that the sheets gave a better result, and i had also read that elsewhere.  I don't really see why, since it's all animal cartilage and stuff, but wondered if anyone knows of a specific difference. 
 
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If you are looking for a well-priced place to find gelatin, either in powder or sheets, I found Chefrubber.com to be a god place to go.

As said above, there are different strengths of gelatin, measured in "bloom." In general, if one finds a recipe that uses gelatin sheets, assume its silver (180 bloom I think) and that the sheets weigh 2.5g. This is a big assumption, though. The brand of gelatin I have know has sheets that weigh closer to 2.25g, and before that I was using a brand that had sheets weighing 3g. If you have a new recipe and don't know what type of gelatin they're using, i suggest doing a small-scale batch to double check.

I think, siduri, that some people prefer gelatin sheets because its easy to tell when they have fully hydrated and when they are fully dissolved. Its harder to tell with powders.

Something to note: most gelatin will contain pork, unless you specifically get beef gelatin. Most Jewish people I know don't split hairs that fine, but it is something to keep in mind if you're, say, making Panna Cotta for the local Synagogue.
 
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an envelope of powdered gelatine weighs 7 grams and each gelatine leaf weighs 2 grams, so if it calls for 2 leafs, that's 4 grams, so you just weigh your powdered one!!!  good luck.
 
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I have a question too,--
What about soaking the gelatin? If I replace sheet gelatin with powdered gelatin, do I still have to soak the powder? How much water should I use then? If the recipe calls for soaking the sheet gelatin then wringing it of excess fluid, how would I approach that with the powder (can't exactly just pull it out of the water and wring it)? Or should I just put in the powder where the recipe tells me to put in the softened sheet gelatin?
 
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1 tsp  Knox  is 1 sheet Danish sheet gel, at least this is what I have always used. As somone already stated there are different strengths or Bloom>counts, which determine gel capabilities.
 
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Like Grassoyster, I am wondering about water.  Since you hydrate the sheets, what do you do with the powder?  Can you just add it into the recipe & hope there is enough liquid to fully incorporate it or do you need to make a sort of paste first?  Help.
 
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Hi,

Did you get an answer to your question? This is excatly what I want to know too.
 
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Thank you for the excellent and detailed explanation. I  read on the David Lebovitz blog that the conversion ratio between sheet and powdered is controversial.    In Italy we have sheet gelatin, but I promised to translate an old refrigerator cheese cake recipe from the '60s for a friend, and it calls for gelatin by the tablespoon, powdered I assume, so I'd have to convert.
 
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My recipe calls for GOLD strength gelatin leaves, but I can only source silver and titanium strengthe. Does anyone know whether combining one silver and one titanium leaf will equate to GOLD strength? 
 
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Gold, silver, etc refers to the bloom strength ofthe gelatin, with platinum having the highest bloom strength, and bronze having the lowest.

Platinum sheets are small compared to bronze.

The gelling power of each sheet is the same, its just that there's less required to do the same job with the higher grades.

Does this make sense?
 
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There's a nice discussion here on ChefSteps.

Here's the basics:

NameBloom StrengthGrams per sheet
Bronze125-1553.3
Silver1602.5
Gold190-2202
Knox brand225n/a
Platinum235-2651.7

You can use a formula devised by Chris Young of the same website:

weight of the known gelatin x square root (known gelatin bloom/unknown gelatin bloom) = weight of unknown gelatin

Therefore, for example, to convert 1 sheet of Gold leaf gelatin into Knox powder:
  • 2g x sqrt (205/225) = K g
  • 2g x .95 = K g
  • 1.91g Knox gelatin powder
This is not a perfect system, but it is pretty good.
 
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