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I’m asking this because I’m thinking it might be possible to reduce the cost of my grain bill if the resulting mash efficiency can be increased to compensate for the fewer grains. The idea would be to then liquor back post boil to get to the same batch volume desired.

I understand there is a limit to this saving because there will be a limit to the amount of fermentables in a grain. However increasing from say 60% to 85% mash efficiency due to a thinner mash and more favourable water grain ratio seems reasonable to me at the moment, hence I’m asking the question.

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Yes

It's much easier to apply high efficiency methods in smaller volumes.

The biggest gain will be from being able to crush grains to near flour gauges. Allowing much more of the endosperm to have contact with mash water. Small batch BIAB would allow for physical stirring and manipulation to avoid small crush issues experienced in larger volumes. Also it's much easier to manually "press" grains when only dealing with a few pounds.

But you shouldn't expect higher efficiency if everything is done the same as in larger volumes. Effeciency generally stays the same for a given method regardless of the volume scale.

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