With all due respect, your buddy doesn't know what he's talking about. Your plan will work just fine. Attach the probe to the side of the fermenter and cover it with some insulation. The insulation probably isn't even needed, but I would do it anyway. You can also achieve the same effect using a cheap electric blanket to wrap the fermenter. Sure, the glass or bucket will initially be heated to a slightly higher temperature than the fermenting beer, but everything will soon equalize and all will be fine. Furthermore, having the probe inserted in a thermowell and inserted into the fermenting beer will definitely cause some much larger temperature swings as the response time will be slowed. When the temperature of the beer drops and the heat source kicks in, it will take a very long time to affect the probe in the thermowell and by that time you will be heading for a temperature overshoot. The same thing will happedn in reverse on the cooling down slope only with an undershoot. The whole point of placing the probe in direct contact with the outside of the fermenter is that it will be exposed to heat radiating from inside the fermenter. Covering the probe with some insulation allows it to more accurately monitor the fermenter temperature. I use a small ceramic heater inside a dead refrigerator as my winter fermentation chamber out in my unheated garage. The little ceramic heater comes on and warms up the chamber very quickly, but it also shuts down just as quickly and the chamber temp doesn't fluctuate much at all. The beer temp fluctuates even less due to it's large thermal mass. Just my opinion. YMMV as usual. Yes, move both jumpers to the closed position (jumpers cover both pins) for heating mode. You may want to set the controller differential fairly tight for best results. Set the anit-short cycle delay to zero. Controlling a resistance type heat source is much different than controlling a refrigeration compressor. You would want a wider differential and much longer Asd duration with a motor or compressor in order to protect it. The thermawrap or electric blanket doesn't benefit from that kind of protection.