This thread rocks! I'm definitely going to try Chris's whirlpool mod when I get mine as that's something I was thinking about. I mean you have a pump... Why not a whirlpool integrated? Brilliant!
You'll have to keep us updated on how the mod holds up through your next few brew sessions. The only thing I can think it might impact is that the pump has to work a bit harder on the bend to keep up the circulation through the grain bed. If you didn't have a problem with a large malt bill though, it would appear to not be an issue.
Rob - wondering if this would help or hurt your channeling issue?
Kegged: Waldo Lake Amber, Notty as Helles, Vanilla Porter, Sweet Stout (nitro), NB Surly Furious Clone, Petite Saison D'ete, Le Seigle Belge Saison, BM Cream of 3 Crops, Edworts Apfelwein
In Process: Braggot
Upcoming Brews: Surley Furious Clone, Uintah Wyld