Lacto-Fermented Organic Whole Grain Mustard

Store bought organic, whole grain mustard is ridiculously over priced (and it isn’t even fermented), but you can make a quart of it for about the cost of a single jar.  Here’s my recipe (adapted from Sally Fallon) for about 1 1/2 cups of the good stuff..

Lacto-Fermented Organic Whole Grain Mustard

All measurements are approximate

1/4 cup organic whole yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup organic whole brown mustard seeds (hotter than yellow)
1/3 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon wildflower honey (optional)
2 tablespoons liquid whey
1 teaspoon sea salt
juice of 1 small lemon, more or less to taste
2 cloves garlic

Blend everything together in a food processor, adjusting consistency, if necessary, with additional filtered water.

Cover tightly and allow to stand at room temperature for 3 days before transferring to the refrigerator.

Make some ketchup too and throw away the squeeze bottles!

64 thoughts on “Lacto-Fermented Organic Whole Grain Mustard

    1. Hi,
      I clicked on the Sardine Salad Sandwich link and got a window that said, “File Not Found”. :(
      Can I get that recipe somewhere else on your site… it sounds sooo good!
      Also, where is a good source to buy mustard seeds to make my own mustard?
      Also, is there a certain brand for capers that you recommend?
      I’m new at all this, so I thank you for your help. :)

  1. Ren you rock. I’m assuming you bought the seeds and didn’t grow your own. I’ll have to figure out how to dry them without the chickens going crazy over them next time. Thanks! I even have the book not sure why I didn’t think to look in there.

  2. Okay, I just found your site doing some searching for fermented foods. I know this is really a dumb question but…here it goes. Is it possible to make some of this lacto fermented foods and condiments without the whey? I am allergic to dairy…not lactose intolerant. Any help here would be greatly appreciate…trying to eat better and get better. Thanks.

    1. No such thing as a dumb question about trying eat better and get better!

      Lacto-fermentation breaks down casein (milk protein), which is generally the most difficult to digest. Culturing also restores lactase which helps digest lactose, allowing many people to tolerate fermented milk products. I would definitely recommend visiting for in-depth information and a strong user forum.

      If you’d care to share, I’d be interested to learn how it goes for you..

      Good luck, and thanks for stopping by, Shanna!

    2. There are certainly plant-only sources of lactobacillus. One of the easiest ways to get it might be to make sauerkraut. Kraut juice is full of it. Just spoon off a bit of the liquid. If you search around the internet, there are plenty of sauerkraut sources around. Be sure to look at Salvador Katz’s recipe over at

      Other sources might be kimchi, sour pickles, or fermented salsa.

      1. So I am guessing that the lactose in this recipe only occurs in the whey. In that case you would want to substitute the whey with lactose (home brew stores) in conjunction with the sauerkraut juice.

        1. Lactose is not desirable. Lactobacillus & lactic acid is what is needed. Both of which occur naturally in *unpasteurized* sauerkraut. No need to add anything else! :) (Most store bought kraut is pasteurized. Look for Bubbies brand if wanting to purchase already made.)

          In my opinion, kraut juice makes for a far superior tasting ferment. I don’t like my food tasting like yogurt, unless it is yogurt! Kraut juice contributes a mild pickle taste that I feel is more appropriate & more palatable in fermented foods.

  3. I am anxious to make my own fermented mustard but can’t use whey (I can’t find corn-free milk to make yogurt – or corn-free yogurt for that matter). This sounds like a fabulous recipe so I am toying with the idea of using juice from my lacto-fermented veggies instead of whey. I make them with organic veggies and sea salt only. What do you think? Will it work? I hate to waste my ingredients on a failure but I can’t see any reason that it wouldn’t work – I’ve read Sandor’s tip about injecting new ferments with juice from an older one to get them started on the right track.

    1. Up to a few months, depending on handling and whey concentration. I find that it tastes best after it “cures” for about 10 days.

      1. Can I use the liquid whey leftover from when I drain plain yogurt to make yogurt cheese? I also am going to try making the ketchup too, it sounds really good. Thanks for the reply.

  4. How long will the whey that is drained from yogurt keep? Also, how long will the yogurt cheese keep? I just made some mayo and I am going to try mustard and ketchup this weekend. Thanks for the info, Paul.

    1. There are variables including source and handling of course, but the cheese can last up to about 1 month and the whey as much as 6 months.

  5. Thanks for this great recipe, I am going to give it a try. I’m not sure what the best readily available source of whey would be? Can I use unsweetened unflavored whey protein powder? Thank you.

    1. Sorry, also forgot to ask, if I make a large batch, can I freeze the extra after say 10 days and then thaw it to use later?

        1. Hello. I didn’t end up needing to freeze it. I’ve had my batch in the refrigerator for about six months and it just keeps getting better and better. I was used to the normal store-bought foods which slowly putrefy, rather than being preserved naturally through fermentation. Thank you!

      1. Great thanks for the information! It’s been a whole year and I still haven’t tried doing this. But now I have a source for raw grass fed cow’s milk so I am getting whey, and I finally have all the ingredients to try this recipe! Thank you!

          1. I finally got around to making it tonight! I used brown, yellow and black mustard seeds, celtic sea salt, brags ACV, juice of a lemon, and a couple cloves of garlic, and the whey. I put it in a pint jar and used a handheld ‘stick’ blender. It worked great. Wow, even before the lactofermentation it tastes absolutely delicious, the best I ever tasted. I can’t wait until the fermentation is finished.

            So why do store bought products pale in comparison to homemade in general?

            1. Excellent! So glad that it worked out for you, thank you for coming back and letting me know!

              In response your question, most of the prepared products that you buy in the store have been manufactured for maximum shelf-life, not for taste or nutrition. Fresh is always best!


          2. Thanks Ren! I finally tried some of the mustard, now fermented. I don’t know what to say. I did not know mustard could be that delicious. It is super hot, I think I used a little much garlic, but I do like it that way. I want to try some with fresh horseradish root too. My father has some root growing in his garden.

            I used some of the mustard with fresh cut raw grass fed beef liver. It was almost like a pate. Not too bad for being raw beef liver anyway!

            1. That’s great to hear! Thanks for letting me know!

              For a milder mustard, just reduce or leave out the brown mustard seeds (they’re a lot hotter than the yellow). The finished mustard also mellows after 3-4 weeks.

  6. Poking around your blog this evening. Been a while since I’ve been here or other blogs for that matter. I like your adaptation from Nourishing Traditions. I printed it out, plus your lacto fermented ketchup recipe. I like the sound of using a lacto fermented mustard in my homemade mayo recipe. Thanks!!

  7. Hello Ren, it’s time for me to make up another batch!

    Can I use a couple spare milk kefir grains in place of the whey? I have heard that can be done in sauerkraut and other fermented products but have not tried it yet. The milk kefir grains from what I understand have about 30 different bacteria, yeasts, and other organisms. Or I could filter off some whey from the milk kefir I think.

      1. Hi Ren, thanks for the info. I made up a quart of mustard today. For the whey, I used the whey from raw milk kefir. So now I will see how that works out! Here it is next to the milk kefir and some kombucha:

          1. Haha, yes, that should last for a little while. :-) I’ve been using it mainly on raw beef liver, it makes it pretty easy to get it down.

            1. It’s been another year, the quart lasted me over a year. It’s time to make some more. I accidentally ordered powdered mustard the last time, I think it will work but I liked the whole grain better. It does mellow out after a few months like you said. Thanks again for the recipe, it is delicious. I’ve been using whey from raw cow’s milk kefir in the mustard, sauerkraut and other fermented things, it works very well.

            2. Woot! Interested to hear how the powdered turns out vs. the whole grain. Are you making your own kefir?



            3. Hi Ren, I’m thinking of not using the powdered and just getting the whole seeds like I had in the past. It doesn’t seem like the powdered is going to work as well. The kefir I make with milk I get locally and then add the kefir grains to it for 24 hours. It comes out pretty thick usually almost like yogurt.

  8. This is awesome! Thank you for this recipe… Do you know if lacto-fermenting herbal-infused olive oils will prevent botulism?

    1. I’ve never heard of lacto-fermenting olive oil before, but I wouldn’t expect it to be able prevent the formation of toxic bacteria during storage.

    2. It doesn’t seem like that would work. I think part of what helps prevent fermented foods from spoiling is that they become acidic (i.e. from lactic acid) (and to a degree from salt if any was added), and also from competition with the ‘good’ organisms in the fermented food.

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