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When my husband gets up in the morning, the balloons are deflated. When I get up 3 hrs later, the balloons are inflated. They stay inflated all day. It has been more than 3 weeks. Is the mead ready to rack? How do we know?

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Why are you using balloons? Are you making prison wine? They are bi-directional, not uni-directional. So, bacteria in the air can get back into the must. Certain types of mead, especially chocolate recipes, will actually suck air back into the carboy and drain the airlock if you agitate it enough. Please invest in a proper airlock, or device a blow off tube (ie: have a tub from the top of the carboy run into a large bucket of sulfite-treated water). –  Dogbert Feb 6 at 22:41
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1 Answer

This sounds like a common issue, If I were to guess your fermenting in a gallon or half gallon jugs? and where your fermenting your mead is in an area where the temperature fluctuates (by a door or window?). If this is close my suggestion would be to find a place where you think the temperature is Ideal and wont fluctuate put a thermometer there for at least 24 hours and check as often as you can or at least morning, day, evening, night. Short story short, consider your thermal mass (amount of liquid fermenting), and the temperature fluctuation where your fermenting. Basically your fermentation temp needs to be more constant then not (and at an appropriate ferm temp). Cheers and good luck

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