Homemade Spicy Brown Mustard

If you have never tried making mustard yourself, this might just be mind-blowing. Homemade mustard has so many more options than the store-bought kind, and has very simple ingredients.  No high fructose corn syrup here!  Spicy brown mustard, honey mustard, rosemary mustard, apricot mustard, let your imagination go wild.  Below is a basic recipe to start with, then go experiment with flavors!  I suggest experimenting in small batches, until you find the combinations that you like the best.  The most important thing for this recipe/project is to take notes as you do things so that if you find the best combo ever, you can make more.

Spicy brown mustard served on an egg salad sandwich

Ethnic grocery stores often have mustard seeds and mustard powder at much lower prices than the regular grocery stores – keep an eye out for them!  If you are lucky enough to have more than one option of color, the darker the color, the spicier the seeds. If you want to grow your own, you can plant the ones from the spice tin, but be warned that it’s an invasive weed in many places so it might not go over well with the neighbors.  The dried stalks with seed pods have very sharp tiny spines so use the heaviest garden gloves you can find to harvest them (yes that’s personal experience, ouch!).

It is well worth it to keep an extra coffee grinder on hand for spices such as this, as the seeds in a mortar and pestle get very excited and like to jump all over the kitchen without an awkward hand-covering style of pounding, but it can be done either way, especially if you have ambitious kids with too much energy.

The important things to know about this recipe:

* Use a glass container, as the vinegar may have unwanted reactions with non-glass.

* Use cold liquid for very spicy mustard, hot liquid for more mild mustard, and lukewarm for in-between.

* This recipe takes between 12 hours and three days to make, so plan ahead.

* The flavor will depend on what kind of liquid and vinegar you choose.  The most mild flavored will be water and white vinegar.  Cider vinegar gives a very apple-y taste.  Honey wine vinegar from Slide Ridge Winery gives a wonderful honey undertone that I love and that’s definitely one of my favorites.  Beer makes a heartier mustard.

If you’re a die-hard mild yellow mustard fan instead of brown mustard, check out my recipe for Classic Yellow Mustard!


Homemade Spicy Brown Mustard

Homemade Spicy Brown Mustard


  • Special Equipment - Spice Grinder
  • 6 Tablespoons whole mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup mustard powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water, beer, or wine (Cold for more spicy, Hot for less spicy)
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar


  1. Grind mustard seeds for just a few seconds in an electric grinder or until desired consistency with a mortar and pestle. This gives your mustard its texture.
  2. In a glass container, mix together mustard seeds, mustard powder, and salt.
  3. Add water and stir well. Let sit for between ten minutes and overnight (cover loosely if desired but not airtight). The shorter the sitting time, the spicer the mustard will be. Adding vinegar (the acid) freezes the chemical reaction between the seeds and water.
  4. Add vinegar, and spices/herbs if you're using them, and stir well.
  5. This is the most important step! Let your mustard sit for at least 12 hours. It does not need to be in the fridge. It's likely to be terrible until it has cured properly so if the smell is bad, don't despair, some take a day or two before they are really good.