I've never soaked my wood chunks.
also the big water pot int he middle keeps it around the 250 mark.
I take it you use that "minion" method too.
hickory is stronger than apple
I usually do two chunks of hickory when i smoke but I'd do 4 chunks of apple.
you *might* want to close off some of the bottom vents though to get a lower heat. the thing about burying your wood chunks into the charcoal like that is that lighter woods like apple wont get enough time to acutally smoke before it gets too hot and just stops smoking.
The way i do apple/maple/fig/cherry is I set up charcoal on the bottom, leave an indentation for the lit charcoal. Throw in the lit charcoal then I'll put the 4 wood chunks in a line from center outward. This allows for a great smelling steady wood smoke.
i keep my WSM around 200-230