Bioencapsulation is a low-cost, low energy demand technology for harnessing the power of microorganisms for applications such as bioremediation, biosensing, and biocatalysis. Silica gels have been investigated for bioencapsulation, yet few studies have focused on gel mechanical properties and biocatalytic activity simultaneously, instead studying the viability of the encapsulated microorganisms. In order to utilize these unique biocatalytic functionalities in the context of industrially relevant processes, bioencapsulation materials with high mechanical strength are required. Herein, we report the development of silica gels for bioremediation based on varying ratios of silicon alkoxide and silica nanoparticles. The results of this study indicate that the alkoxide to nanoparticle ratio can be used to control the gel mechanical properties as well as the biocatalytic activity.