I, too prefer D-76. I mix it according to the package directions and then use it straight with no further dilution. I rate my B&W film at half what the MFG calls for when I expose it, but process at the normal ASA. I develop for 10 minutes at 68 degrees. If I am doing negs for alternative processes, I expose for double the time called for and develop for double the time, (20 minutes). I haven't tried the brush technique.