BBQ and smoker thread

I decided to try smoking a turkey for the first time today.
A few months back I got a new smoker, still electric (too lazy to bother with charcoal and manually fussing with everything) but much nicer than my old, uninsulated El-Cheapo Brinkman.

I've used this smoker about a half dozen times and I really like it, especially since I can add more wood chips without opening the door.

The turkey was brined in a mix of water, maple syrup and bourbon for two days. Before smoking it I patted it down with a mix of salt and pepper. The bird ended up needing 6 hours to cook and it was AMAZING, it pulled apart very easily, it was juicy and tasted delicious.
Two days of brining sounds like a very long time to me. How much water:salt do you use?
No salt for the brine. The recipe called for 2 cups of maple syrup, a cup of bourbon and a tablespoon of pickling spice and enough water to cover the bird in a pot. That's it. The recipe also said to let the bird soak for 2 days. I can take a picture of the recipe page if you like.
Isn't the point of brining that the salt in it makes the liquid penetrate the flesh so that you have a smaller loss of liquid when cooking?