Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. I was quite nervous but I think it was a success!
I did do a "dry run" the night before for a few hours just to get a feel for how the Joe reacted to the air adjustments, so I kind of had a small idea on what to do, but had a few surprises during the night of the actual cook.
I filled the coal basket full and started it at 11pm the night before the planned birthday celebration. I placed 4 or 5 large chunks of soaked apple wood around in the basket. I let the Joe slowly come to 225F and then waited until midnight to put the brisket on. I have a Thermoworks Smoke Thermometer and for the grill temp I set the high alert to 250F and the low to 200F. I set the meat probe warning to 195F just so I had an idea when its getting close. I "camped out" on the sofa near the Joe all night and checked the temps when I could and also responded to the many alert "surprises". Several times throughout the night I was awakened to the high grill temp alarm and had to make adjustments to the air vents. I think what was happening is that the coal was burning at a very slow and even burn until it reached a "apple wood chunk". I think that's when the temps rose too high. The highest it got was 280F and I was able to get it to go back to below 250F without much problem. At 7 hours in the internal meat temp was 156F and I checked it for the first time. It looked great, very much a mahogany color and it looked like meat candy. I decided to wrap it in foil at this time. By this time I think all of the apple chunks had been burned up so I didn't have many temperature swings from this point on. I kept it burning around 220-230F. At 11 am, 11 hours into the cook the internal temperature was 195F, at Noon, 12 hours into the cook the internal temperature was 205F. I decided at this point to unwrap it to do the probe test. The probe went in like it was going into hot butter. We weren't eating until 4 so I was a bit nervous about taking it off this early but I knew it had to be done. I wrapped it tight with several layers of foil and put in in a ice chest and then filled the ice chest with towels. When I took it out at 330pm to slice it was still too hot to handle. It was very moist and very tender. After a night of babysitting the brisket everyone loved it and I considered it a success.
Next time I will take it out a hour earlier, or at least do the probe test earlier. If anything it was a bit overdone, not dry but it didn't hold together very well. Maybe I should have used smaller pieces of smoke wood so as to not get the high temperature swings?