After doing a couple of dozen batches on my new sculpture and fighting with drifting mash temperatures most of the time I finally decided to swap back over to an insulated Gott cooler for my mash tun.
What a difference. I no longer had to pay attention to the mash temp, mess with pumps for my HERMS, run the stir motor on the hot liquor tank, or worry about grainbed compaction. Despite cool evening air temps the mash held within a degree over the course of the hour.
I really haven’t found a downside of this approach other than it means I have a surplus Blichmann Boilermaker mash tun for now. I’m going to run this way for a while and see if I can notice a difference in consistency on my beers and simplification on my brew day.