The steamer basket rests on a lip inside the pot. You can make it out in the picture above. It leaves about 3 inches of space under the bottom for the element, thermometer and drain. I am looking to follow Scuba Steve's lead in getting this closed in to replace the bag but will let him do the research on the best method. I am concidering though using anysizebasket.com though as it would be easier to clean than several pieces of wire mesh bolted together. If I do go this rout I will probably cut off the bottom of the basket and make a false bottom with it to keep the basket and immersion chiller from resting on the element/temp probe.
The pump is for recircing during the mash, whirlpool chilling, and transfer to fermenter. This could be done without the pump except that:
1. This should maintain better temps throughout the mash as I do not intend to insulate, only let the PID fire and maintain temp. Recirculation at the least will provide more uniform temperatures.
2. I had it anyway.
I hope to get the first brew done next weekend. I will take lots of pics and post them.