I only have two brews under my belt which makes me inexperienced, but it also means that I went through my first batch and my starting point more recently than most. Here are my answers, for what they are worth.
Not having a fridge is not a big deal if you are only doing ales (or lagers in the winter and live where it freezes, which you obviously do, ay?
) . Many MANY people do not have an extra fridge, either because of cost or space, and they still make excellent beer.
Make you first brew an extract. Unless you are used to the whole procedure that goes with brewing you want to make it as simple as you can for yourself on your first brew. I was a chef for about 10 years and can say that this is true with almost everything in the cooking world. Get used to heating and cooling times, sanitation, watching your temps, etc, before you push onto new ground. I'm sure that there are people out there who made spectacular beer their first try, and did it all grain. However, being a chef I know my way around a kitchen/sanitation techniques/etc, but I was still glad I did an extract my first time around. If nothing else it will boost your confidence. You can always make the jump on your second batch if everything goes relatively smoothly.
Similarly, I would do an ale instead of a lager the first time around for the reasons that I would do an extract brew instead of all grain. Less steps the first time is a good thing.
As far as what to brew, it is really up to your tastebuds! Medium dark beers do seem to be more forgiving if those are your style, but if you go too dark (Lots of roasted malt) it will take a while to blend nicely. One thing to keep in mind is that lower ABV beers tend to go from grain to glass faster. That said I would make something low ABV, as (if your like me
) you'll want to drink your creation sooner rather than later. Save the high ABV stuff for when you have a stockpile built up. But then again, it is really up to you! I would just take those things in consideration if you want to brew an RIS or something.
Good luck brewing, and welcome to your new obsession. Sure sucked me in!