brucet wrote:So it appears to me as though a high NN is the issue. I ran a few other tests and everytime I applied a higher NN the sky became grainy.
Do you have NN registered or just the basic one?
When you have registered, make sure you either use AS sharpening or NN USM, but not both at defaults.
AS sharpening and NN USM (which is on by default and can not be adjusted in basic NN) together result in rather ugly artifacts unless carefully adjusted.