First off, GRRRRRRRRRRRR! Was making a pilsner today. I was planning on brewing at a buddy's place on his outdoor propane system. Well, he tripped heading outside and rolled his ankle pretty badly. I had already crushed all the grain so the brewing moved to my indoor electric.
Long story short, I forewent the decoction and just did a step mash, resting for about 30 minutes at 122 degrees. Then I ramped up to 150 with the RIMS tube, recirculated at 150 for an hour, then started to ramp up to mash out. This was when I sensed/smelled the scorching. I shut it off right away. I'd had this issue once before and had since gotten a LWD element. My previous element I'd gotten on amazon.com, had claimed to be LWD, but clearly wasn't. I think the protein rest created a ton of gelatinous protein spooge.
So I'm deciding on what to do. I had a 120V, 1500W, LWD element in the RIMS. It was a foldback, about 9" long. I can buy a 240V 4500W, ULWD foldback element (about 18" long) and a longer RIMS tube. It'll run at 1150W and should be pretty low density.
Or, I can put this $50 towards a Herms system. My initial feeling is that this element should solve the issue, even with a protein rest. Herms would cost more and be more work, but I don't want to waste money on something that is ultimately doomed.
Anyone been down this road before who can offer some advice?