Tips and Techniques For Making Repashy Gel Formulas

Tips and Tricks for Making Repashy Gel Food Formulas.


We wish we could say everything we want to say on our labels, but when you have about 3 square inches to put a Product Description, Guaranteed Analysis, Ingredient list, and Instructions, we don’t have room to say much. The following guide is based on feedback and questions from customers over the years, who are typically contacting us because their food isn’t gelling properly and they want to know if they “got a bad batch” At Repashy, we have strict quality control and test every Lot we manufacture, and (knock on wood) we have never released a gel formula premix that didn’t work…. I thought I would summarize the tips and pointers that I have used to get people on track and make a good gel.

HEAT IS EVERYTHING! …. The powders require water to be boiling or simmering hot when it is mixed with the powder.  I underline this because it is the key and the #1 reason that people fail to make a good gel. Here is what usually happens. A customer says they are mixing it according to the directions, but it isn’t gelling at all, or is making a poor gel. When I investigate, I typically find that these customers are trying to make small amounts and are not working quickly and considering the water temperature between the time it’s boiled and it hits the powder.

When making small amounts, users are often transferring the boiling water with a spoon, or pouring it into a bowl, cup, or container.  A metal spoon, and/or container that are room temperature can instantly drop the temperature of the water by as much as 40 degrees F upon contact, meaning  that before it is mixed with the powder, it is much below the necessary 180 degrees required to make a good gel.

There are many ways to prevent this from happening, and finding a protocol that works for you will insure that you have great success with making a gel.

First, the most foolproof way to make the gel foods is to not transfer water at all.

Method 1: If you have a microwave, this is likely the best way to make smaller amounts of our food.

Choose a microwave safe container that is also suitable for making your gel.  A shallow bowl or Tupperware container works great. …… We always recommend that you make a batch that is 1 cup in finished size. It’s possible to make less, but it just isn’t as easy. The foods will typically last two weeks in the fridge, so you can make more than you need at a single feeding.

Let’s make an example batch.  A 16 oz size deli cup works great for making batches nearing the one cup size.  The recommended water to powder ratio is 2-3 parts water to 1 part powder. The actual ratio will depend on what consistency you prefer, and the specific formula. (Because of the variable ingredients and how they affect the gel matrix, the formulas will vary in firmness given the same water to powder ratios.)


Stage your tools, containers, and ingredients:  Select your suitable heat stable container. If you’re making one cup, I recommend you use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop and a 1/3 cup measuring scoop.  You will also need a suitable stirring device at the ready such as a teaspoon.

1/3 cup is enough powder to reach a ratio of 2 parts water and one part powder. This will typically be too thick in some formulas, but if you’re not planning on pouring it, will work fine. Having this much on hand during the mixing process will give you plenty to find your desired ratio.
1: Measure out three scoops of water using the ¼ cup scoop and put them into your container.
2: Fill the 1/3 scoop cup with powdered gel premix and set aside.
3: Boil water in microwave until it is bubbling hot
4: Remove container from microwave
5: Start stirring the water and slowly start adding the powder. 
6: Continue slowly stirring and adding powder until the mix is thoroughly blended and your desired consistency (no thicker than ketchup).

Method 2: Repeat above procedure but boil water in a saucepan or pot that you can take off heat and then stir in powder.

Method 3:  You can also premix the water and powder cold and then Microwave the mixture. We do NOT recommend you do this on a stove due to the possibility of burning the contents on the bottom of the pan. When using this method, it is important that you premix it with ample amounts of water because when it starts boiling, if it's too dry, it will not evenly heat the mixture and it can expand out of the container. We recommend you use the 3:1 ratio to start with and if its too thin, you can quickly stir in some more powder after it’s removed.


Remember mix powder in slowly, it’s easy to add more powder to thicken it up if it’s thin, but if it gets too thick, you can’t adjust without more boiling water on hand. If you're just starting out making Repashy Gels, and using the microwave method, a good insurance measure is to actually boil two containers of water at the same time, so if you accidently get your mix too thick, you can just add some boiling water back in to get the correct consistency.

The gel will start to set quickly, so having everything prepared as recommended above, will allow you to work efficiently and you should be able to mix ingredients in less than a minute once you pull your boiling water.

Unless you are making molds, there really isn’t a reason to pour the boiled mixture.  It’s actually easier to cut a block into cubes than it is to pour the hot mixture into cube trays.
If you MUST transfer water from the boiling container, such as using a kettle, make sure your container isn’t acting as a heat sink. The more food you make, the less concern this will be. But if you’re trying to make a few tablespoons (many people do) and using a cold spoon or large mixing bowl, you are going to have problems with this method. Preheating your spoon and bowl with surplus boiling water can make a big difference.

The water to powder ratio is actually quite forgiving.  Using less water will make a firmer gel, but it will be difficult, if not possible to pour (see tip above). Using more water, will help with thorough mixing and make it pourable. If you use too much water, you will see that during the cooling process, there may be ingredient settling and a layer of gel on the top that looks like broth and has no powder in it.
This separation will typically not occur at ratios beyond 3:1 but some users will find they want to push the limits for workability reasons. This settling is what you need to look for if you're using a lot of water, and each formula will have different limits.

In general, when you have everything, you need and you are well prepared, you will rarely have any issues making batches of a cup size or more.  This publication is simply to help those who have had troubles and not considered the fact that the water can quickly cool when being transferred, and that the smaller amount you are trying to make, the higher risk of heat loss you will be dealing with.

Please also remember that the boiling process will cause significant evaporation, and enough water loss can be caused to affect your finished ratio.

Here is a download link for a word file of the article: Tips and Techniques for making Repashy Gel Foods

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