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Mustard Making Tips - Too Spicy!

luciaannek May 30, 2012 07:50 AM


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?

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  1. l
    LauraGrace RE: luciaannek May 30, 2012 08:15 AM

    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. cowboyardee RE: luciaannek May 30, 2012 08:29 AM

      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. tcamp RE: luciaannek May 30, 2012 08:38 AM

        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. l
          luciaannek RE: luciaannek May 30, 2012 10:37 AM

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

          1. scubadoo97 RE: luciaannek Jun 3, 2012 11:49 AM

            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. t
              tidecreek RE: luciaannek Jun 3, 2012 01:46 PM

              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
                scubadoo97 RE: tidecreek Jun 3, 2012 05:14 PM

                I can vouch that it does mellow with time

              2. m
                MikeG RE: luciaannek Jun 3, 2012 06:11 PM

                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. c
                  calliope_nh RE: luciaannek Jun 3, 2012 06:12 PM

                  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.

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