HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Mustard Making Tips - Too Spicy!


I decided to try making some mustard yesterday after seeing the chowtip video on making mustard that came out a little while ago. I used a homemade vinegar that seemed fitting, made from a pumpkin spiced ale. I used coleman's dry english mustard. I added the vinegar until it was paste-like, then added a little salt. I let it sit overnight to mingle a little.

The problem is, it's so spicy it's hard to eat. I'm no wimp, but I can only put a tiny dab on my food without it blowing my head off. The flavor is nice, but it hard to get enough of it without putting on too much in terms of spiciness.

I don't think I can just water it down; it would loose it's mustardy consistency. Is it just the brand of dry mustard? Should I cut it with something? I've heard of people adding flour to mustard but that doesn't sound tasty. Should I have not let it sit overnight? Any ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There's something with the temperature of the liquid as you add it that I can't remember right now, but that aside, in my admittedly-limited mustard-making experience, it gets SO much milder as it sits. I made and canned, a couple of Christmases ago, cranberry-beer mustard to give as gifts, and it was sinus-explodingly hot for the first month but then steadily milder after that. I had to mix it with a mild prepared mustard to be able to use it. Now, 1.5ish years later, it's perfectly tasty straight from the jar.

    1. Note - this info is second hand, based on what I remember reading about mustard:

      The heat in mustard is based on a chemical reaction when mustard powder is mixed with water. When said powder is mixed with water, the mustard quickly becomes very hot, and then slowly cools down due to a slow enzymatic reaction. This reaction occurs best at room temperature, and the heat of the mustard 'sets' when it's refrigerated, cooling far more slowly from then on. So basically, you add liquid to mustard powder (i've heard you should start with a little water and then add vinegar once the mustard has been wet for a few minutes), and then let it sit at room temperature until the heat cools to your desired level. Then, and only then, do you refrigerate.

      Sorry if that info is not accurate - like I said, I haven't made my own mustard to test it first hand. But AFAIK, that's the science of it.

      1. I made beer and caraway mustard over the winter holidays. Recipe said to let it sit at least a week before eating. At one week, it was very harsh and spicy. I pushed it to the back of the fridge and rediscovered it about 3 months later. Much, much better. In my limited experience, you're going to need to let it age and mellow.

        1. Wow! Thanks for the advice. I never thought about age and heat! Never disappointed by chowhounds.

          1. next time skip the Coleman's and soak yellow and brown mustard seeds in your homemade vinegar. They will hydrate over a day or so and can sit for several days until you adds ready to process

            Then blend with a stick blender or similar device. Adjust taste as needed but be awear that it mellows after a few days so that's also a good time to adjust flavors to you liking.

            1. I bet if you just let it sit awhile it will mellow out I had that happen too the first time I made mustard and Thank God I did not throw it away I put it in the fridge and went back and tasted it a month later and it was AMAZING!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: tidecreek

                I can vouch that it does mellow with time

              2. Coleman's (ie, "English vs French" mustard) is meant to be much sharper than, say, Dijon mustard.. To some extent you can tame it by mixing it up with boiling water/liquid but I don't think that'll help after the initial reaction has occurred. Letting it sit for a while may help, but it's always going to be strong.

                If you want to keep experimenting with homemade mustard, check Penzey's - they sell a "normal spicy" mustard powder as well as the extra-spicy variety in bulk, very inexpensively.

                1. I make the paste with Colman's and a bit of cold water and let it sit until it has the heat I am looking for and then add the vinegar which stops the reaction and sets the heat level.

                  1. Colman's ground mustard powder (made 100 metres from my home in Norwich) is one of the more hot ground mustards (sometimes called mustard flour) so if you want t a smooth mustard that is not so hot, you can buy ground yellow mustard. It is not as finely ground as Colman's - I don't know if that is why it is not so hot, but Colman's is the hottest I have tasted I buy my mustard powder from www.rainbowwholefoods.co.uk. There is a wholesaler for larger quantities. But there is no doubt that mustard matures with age too.

                    1. You didn't make mustard.
                      The Colemans you used was already mustard.
                      You need to start with real mustard seed. Yellow (white) seed too mild for good 'french style' mustard. Use 'brown seeds' not black.
                      Rule of thumb: The cooler the liquid the hotter the end result.
                      I use warm water to get a balance between too hot and too mild.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Puffin3

                        "The temperature of the water and concentration of acids such as vinegar also determine the strength of a prepared mustard; hotter liquids and stronger acids denature the enzymes that make the strength-producing compounds. Thus, "hot" mustard is made with cold water, whereas using hot water produces a milder condiment".

                      2. " This is a good imitation of Pommery Moutarde Royale and it costs pennies to make vs the high cost of Pommery. Soak 1/3 cup of brown mustard seed overnight in 1 cup water. Next day add 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Blend (must use a blender---food processor won't do the job right) until the mixture turns creamy, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate. At first the mustard is hot but as it sits in the refrigerator for a week or so it gets milder."