James Gilpin is a biomedical designer and researcher and he also suffers from Type 1 diabetes, i.e. his body does not produce enough insulin to properly regulate his blood-sugar levels. One of the interesting effects of diabetes, especially Type II diabetes in elderly patients, is that the urine tends to be very high in sugar. In order to make a statement about whether or not it’s, “plausible to suggest that we start utilising our water purification systems in order to harvest the biological resources that our elderly already process in abundance”, [Author’s note: ???] Mr. Gilpin has started using this sugar-rich diabetic urine to produce whisky:
The source material is acquired from elderly volunteers, including Gilpin’s own grandmother. The urine is purified in the same way as mains water is purified, with the sugar molecules removed and added to the mash stock to accelerate the whisky’s fermentation process. Traditionally, that sugar would be made from the starches in the mash.
Once fermented into a clear alcohol spirit, whisky blends are added to give colour, taste and viscosity, and the product is bottled with the name and age of the contributor.
The original idea came from an (unverified) story he heard about a pharmaceutical company that supposedly set up a factory next to an old people’s home and would swap cushions and soft toys for the residents’ urine. They’d then process the urine to remove the chemicals that had passed straight through the dilapidated endochrine systems of the patients, which could then be put straight back into new medicine.
Whisky Made From Diabetics Urine [Wired]