That is great that things worked out. The beans are great and a finishing sauce makes the world of difference. It only gets better the more you cook.....
OK so you are using a MES. They are a great little smoker and can put out some incredible product. We have a MES30 with the window at work and I use it quite often. What I have found to be consistent from reading what others have posted about them and my own experience, their therms are not good. You are not able to replace them for the controls, but you can make adjustments based on a calibrated therm. The one I have at work runs 15 degrees colder then displayed. So I set it 15 degrees higher then what I want.
Once you make sure you have accurate temp readings, then you can fine tune the other stuff. Temp control/reading and proper air flow are the two biggest things in my book.