Art of Scotch Whiskey and Blended Whiskey (05:23)
On the Isle of Islay in Scotland there is a 5-century-long tradition of making scotch whiskey. Jim Beveridge explains how the weather and environment make it unique to its location. Whiskey blending is also an old tradition, requiring detailed attention to flavor notes.
First Steps in Making Whiskey (01:41)
Water, yeast, and malted barley are combined to make whiskey. As the barley germinates, its starch turns to sugar; then it is dried over a peat fire. Malted barley is mixed with warm water, and enzymes in the malt convert to sugar which will ferment into alcohol.
Mashing and Fermentation (01:10)
The strong beer created from the first stage is distilled to create stronger alcohol. First it is heated in a copper vessel; Beveridge explains that the reactivity of copper creates unique flavors, which change from one minute to the next. He learned from whiskey makers before him, and now teaches the next generation.
The Paper Maker (05:08)
Andrea De Simeis hopes to leave a legacy of moving slow and taking time to observe and think. In Sogliano Cavour, Salento, Italy he continues a tradition from the 7th century, making paper. His garden is essential to his work as certain herbs are natural disinfectants for paper.
Ingredients and Process (00:48)
To begin the paper-making process, Simeis puts the ashes and thyme in a vessel, while the wood fiber boils in water which is later mixed with the ashes and thyme. Bonds in the wood fiber break down for making paper.
Master Blender (02:46)
Beveridge notices compatibility among different flavors in whiskey. He measures portions of whiskey, explaining that the process of trial and error takes patience.
The Sword Maker (05:36)
In Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, Lee Eun-Cheul manufactures iron in the traditional way using a blast furnace constructed from local clay. He began studying in the 1980s and hopes to find someone who will have the patience to learn the technique and continue the tradition. He uses two kinds of magnetite and heats them in the smelting furnace.
The Ink Maker (04:18)
Harunobu Ito is learning the traditional craft of making sumi ink in Suzuka, Mie, Japan. The environmental conditions in Suzuka are ideal for sumi making, which involves liquefying water buffalo collagen and blending it with soot. Ink making requires an early start and long days of hard work through the winter, so it is hard to find young people to learn the skill.
The Silk Weavers (03:58)
Sue Thompson, silk weaver in Sudbury, Suffolk, demonstrates putting yarn on bobbins, and describes early barriers to weaving as a woman. Geoff Turkentine, who manages dyeing of the silk, describes the art of mixing color, and he explains that silk has to be cleaned and warmed before dyeing.
Paper Maker (03:21)
Simeis explains that the wood fiber must be pounded to keep its length and strength. His craft dictates the rhythms of his life; his work and personal life are one. The pulp is spread out in water, dye added, then it is pressed; paper has an important heritage of sharing information and stories.
Sumi Ink Apprentice (02:58)
Kido Ito explains that his son's skill has improved, but he hopes his personal taste and artistry will develop. Harunobu kneads the ink and presses it into a block. Lastly, they put the blocks in ash covered in newspaper for drying.
Sword Maker (02:26)
Lee Eun-Cheul explains that the final step in sword making is grinding, which develops a special marbling pattern. His swords are able to cut through metal. He revived a craft that had stopped one hundred years ago.
Silk Weaver (03:56)
Thompson describes the process of managing bobbins and the commitment it takes to master silk weaving. Silk dyer Turkentine keeps tropical fish for their color inspiration, and he explains the process of color matching. Thompson explains that the mill keeps templates from over a hundred years ago; she takes pride in her work and customers.
Training the Next Generation (03:42)
To maintain a legacy, master crafts people need to pass their skills and knowledge on to young people: Turkentine trains his son in silk dyeing, and Harunobu Ito continues his family's tradition of sumi ink making. Beveridge explains that maintaining the legacy of whiskey blending involves innovation as well. Simeis describes the way children approach learning and work, a quality he wants to keep in himself.
Credits: Meet the Makers (00:39)
Credits: Meet the Makers
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