Kettle with false bottom

I have a Bayou classic kettle with a heating element and a false bottom. It is setup to recirculate the wort during mashing. My question is the false bottom sits about 2 inches up from the bottom to leave room for the heating element. So there is about 2 gallons of water that are under the false bottom. If the mash calls for say 3.5 gallons of water do I fill up to the false bottom then add the 3.5 gallons?, since if I only add 3.5 gallons only 1.5 is going to be above the false bottom. I’ve only done 1 all grain so far and this is what I did.

I would probably mash with a higher amount of water, and then reduce the amount of sparge water accordingly. But since you’re recirculating, it doesn’t matter so much as long as all the grain is wet and below the surface of the water. Make sure there’s enough water such that the grain bed is under the surface and you have good coverage when you recirculate, and you should be good to go.

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Thanks that is what I figured and what I did the first time.

Yes you use the 3.5gal figure ABOVEBOARD the FB. And as @porkchop said it will come off your sparge amount.