Originally Posted by sheeldon
will a temp controller enable the fermenter to maintain temps between 60 and low 70's as some yeasts prefer? I can see how it would help keep temps low, but I would like this re-assurance.
Yes. The temp controller just turns the fridge on when it is above the temp set point. Especially in GA you can feasibly maintain any temp you want from 48-80 before you only have to worry about cooling it down. In CO in the winter getting the fridge warm enough can be the issue. If you are going to go down that route, I would suggest buying an un-wired temp controller and wiring it yourself. I have zero electrical experience and was able to do it easily with the help of pictures/videos/walkthroughs from this fourm and other websites.
If you dont want to spend any money, do a search for "swamp cooler." Its basically submergering 60% or so of your fermenter in water and then using ice packs/frozen 2L bottles to keep the temp down. The water helps keep the beer colder as well as prevent temp swings due to changs in ambient air.
If you can, I would suggest the temp controller method. Much easier, you dont have to babysit the beer and everyone always says they wished they would have done it sooner