armyguy glad your starting out, it’s a fun hobby/obsession!
So, if you want to smoke them then they can’t be bratwurst, brats are a fresh sausage that you don’t add cute to and just grill or cook in a pan or oven. What it sounds like you want to make is cured sausage. The processes are similar but there are 1 or 2 differences that can heavily effect your outcome. The main one being that with cured sausage you want to achieve protein extraction during the mixing process. This will bind up all the meat, fat, water and additives and prevent the fat from cooking out during the smoking process. The other major difference is that you don’t add cure to a bratwurst.
You should check out the cured sausage section of meatgistics university, then watch the basic cured sausage processing video and article. I think that will answer more of your questions for the type of sausage you want to make! I’d link you right to it but I’m on my phone.
Good luck and let us k ow if you have any other questions!