I suddenly have new sympathy for those who complain about undesired matzah ball outcomes. This year I used the same recipe I've been using for the last 20+ years. The first batch I made, I opened up a new container of matzah meal. It happened to be Streit's, a brand I can't generally get locally. It looked a little different from my usual Manischewitz, but I figured it's all matzah meal, right? Not right. These matzah balls weren't just floaters. You could have tied a string to them and they would have lifted you off the floor. They expanded to nearly twice their usual size and were helium balls. The taste was fine but the texture was beyond light.
Next batch I went back to Manischewitz. The texture of the matzah meal was the same as previous batches, much finer than the Streit's. And guess what? This batch of matzah balls came out exactly the way my matzah balls usually do. They were tasty and light, floaters without being zeppelins.
Lesson learned. Clearly the brand of matzah meal and the fineness of its grind makes a big difference.