How to make mustard

If you’re totally new to the art of fermentation, read my post with all the info you need to know: Fermentation 101

When I was a boy, I hated mustard. But like many things, my taste buds improved with age :). Now I take every opportunity to eat it! I use it for:

  • Sandwiches, of course (ham and bologna especially)
  • Smoked brats and Polish sausage
  • Marinating chicken (with buttermilk, garlic, honey, soy sauce, etc.)
  • Topping butter crackers to eat with summer sausage or salami
  • Topping salmon patties
  • Homemade salad dressing
  • Coating pork shoulders and ribs to help BBQ rub stick
  • GIFTS!
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The finished product.

Mustard is not only tasty, but it’s good for you. So if you make your own, you can feel especially good about piling it on because it is fresh, cheap, and healthy!

What you need:

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Let the fermenting begin!

What to do:

  1. Clean your container. If it’s not a container equipped with an airlock, make sure it is something you can “burp” easily. FYI, I like to make about one quart at a time; I use Mason jars with plastic one-piece lids.
  2. Add one part yellow seeds and one part black seeds until your container is about 2/3 full.
  3. Add garlic to taste. I usually add 1/2 bulb to one quart (fermentation mellows garlic).
  4. Using the salt and purified water, mix up a 3-3.5% brine. I like my mustard a bit salty, so I go with 3.5%.
  5. Pour brine into your container, completely covering the seeds and garlic.
  6. Let rest overnight. Check after 8-12 hours to see if you need to add more brine (too dry; the seeds soak up a lot of water) or more seeds and brine (too much head space–1/2 inch preferred).
  7. Shake lightly 1-2 times per day to disturb the top of the ferment. Burp container 1-2 times per day if necessary.
  8. After 1-2 weeks, the mix should start to smell pleasant and like mustard sauce.
  9. After 3-4 weeks, process in a food processor with one part vinegar to four parts fermented mustard seeds to your desired consistency (add more vinegar if you prefer).
  10. Bottle and refrigerate. Let age several days to mellow before tasting.
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Mustard of this quantity and quality would cost about $30. This cost me about $7.50.

I haven’t checked the pH of mine, but if you want to store your mustard on the shelf, a pH of 4.2 or below means refrigeration is unnecessary. If you do so, I’d suggest heating your mustard to 185* for ten minutes to ensure all lacto-bacteria are killed. This would prevent any issues with exploding bottles and blown lids/caps.

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