Last November, I was looking to build my very first brewing system, and stumbled upon this thread (which has been an amazing resource, by the way...) and decided to build a RIMS using the original plans and specs. The system has been flawless; no leaks, holding temps, fast step-times, and great efficiency. I've brewed a couple of ales, a helles, Ed Wort's IPA, a Dortmunder, an Alt, and a few others.
After my first brew, I started to notice a slight off-taste in my system, and was concerned that my water was too chlorinated, or perhaps I was over-sparging and my phenols were out of whack. Eventually, after trying spring water, "hyper-cleaning" everything, and still having off-tastes, I removed my 110v 1500w ld heating element, and discovered a caramelized, burnt mess on the element.
Reading through this thread, I've only noticed one or two others who have had this happen. I'm open to any thoughts, questions, suggestions to figure this out.
A few factoids; I am using a 2" pipe system, auber instruments 60mm RTD, 2352 PID, 25 amp SSR (with heat sink), and a control box built under the guidance of my stepfather, who is a master electrician. Each control (master, PID, element, and pump) are all on individual circuits. And yes; although the element is not connected to the pump switch on the hot end (to ensure that the element doesn't run "dry"), I have never accidentally fired the heater when dry.
I posted pics of my system after my build and first brew. Here's a link for pics:
I'm going to try a 4500w ld element at 110 to see if that helps. Any ideas? Maybe I just had a bad element? (I did auto tune the PID, temps were spot on, checked against a thermometer placed in the mash. It never "spiked" or ran hot.)
Thanks for taking the time to help me out with this.