Well, the brine ingredients sound good, but THREE pans of chips? Wow! Randy must like it SMOKY! I only use two pans, and it's just right. PS...try Rokpyl's brine...I've been told that I could sell this stuff, but that would take all the fun out of experimentation!
1 small bottle SWEET white wine
2 cups Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce
2 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2 cups Apple Juice (concentrate is better)
2 lbs. Light or Dark Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons GROUND Ginger
1 cup Blackstrap Molasses
10 drops Hot Pepper Extract
Heat the wine in a microwave...it makes dissolving the brown sugar, molasses, and ginger easier and quicker. Cool the wine by adding the remaining liquids. I prefer to brine my fish for a minimum of 3 days on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. It's best to use a plate to ensure that ALL the fish is completely immersed in the brine.
For smoking, I have a Luhr-Jensen Big Chief. I use only Alder, Apple, or Cherry chips. I grew up on my Dad's Hickory and I can't stand the smell of Hickory any longer! I place the fish onto the racks with enough space between the pieces for proper coverage/ventillation. I let the fish air dry in a cool environment for about 30 minutes as the smoker is pre-heating. Then I use two pans of chips but I let them burn completely (that will take anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours) before changing. I remove the fish when it's soft to the touch but flakes easily. Too long and you have jerky! yuk! Try this...you'll love it!
ps...as there are no "secrets", I didn't leave anything out! This is the brine I use most frequently for Salmon, Sturgeon, and for making my Beef Jerky!