I’ve been wondering for some time if I could make nice, round ropes of gummy by running a stream of it into cold water. Today I gave it a shot, and the short answer is nope, it doesn’t work.
The longer answer is this:
I used water chilled and filtered by my fridge, placed atop two ice packs. You can see from the photo below that it was chilled, but far from frozen:
I decided to start with this because it was easy and readily available. Our freezer’s so full right now that there’s no room to run the ice maker. I figured if this got close, I’d do another test later with ice water.
But as soon as I started actually running the gummy (which I let cool as much as possible without starting to become solid) into the water, I realized the fatal flaw in this plan: much as it seems like it’s coming out in a stream when I work with it, it’s really not, or not for long. It breaks up into drops which then amass together in molds. Even a running stream held close to a mold is actually fluctuating. This is why the Mythbusters were able to show that you can’t electrocute yourself urinating on an electric fence or third rail of a subway: there isn’t a solid, continuous line of fluid far from the source.
So the gummy hit the water in drops, which made it float around in individual amorphous blobs. Even when I put pressure on the flow to make it more continuous, the line still broke into drops upon hitting the water’s surface. And even when I could almost sort of get a line going, it folded over itself so readily that it formed lumpy piles, not a nice single rope.
Here you can see the delicate lumps I was able to fish out of the bowl. Sure, there are a couple of strings hanging off, but they’re super-fragile and inconsistent in diameter.
I don’t think colder water would have much effect, because the gummy liquid is simply insufficiently viscous to hold its shape in the fluid. If I make it thicker with more gelatin, it would pull more water into itself quickly and still end up weak and breaking apart.
So nope, I don’t think you can use a cold water bath to form extruded ropes of gummy. Oh well…a negative result is still good information!