I have not done too many homebrewing posts thus far. In truth at one time I was an extremely avid homebrewer and was brewing almost every chance I had. Nowadays I tend to rarely brew because I am rarely home to drink the beer. It really doesn’t go bad, rather it tends to fade away, but having a bunch of homebrew which is not being consumed is almost a crime.
Anyway, I recently saw a post on a forum where someone was using a true top cropping yeast and they were having some issues keeping the ferment under control despite using a relatively cool fermentation area. What most people fail to realize is the fermenter temp is what needs to be monitored and the fermentation fridge or area should be manipulated to keep the fermenter temp relatively constant (+/-1°F). Sometimes people will submerge a temp probe for the fermentation fridge into the liquid or taped to the side of the fermenter and that is a bad idea since it can cause the duty cycle of the fridge or freezer to be exceeded and now instead of having a temp swing of air in the fermentation area there is a temp swing of the fermenter. In no case should the differential of a fridge be set as less than 4°F or whatever the factory setting of the temp controller happens to be.
If you allow the fermenter to work without monitoring the ferment the temp rise of fermentation can be 10-12°F above ambient temps or fermentation area temps. So if you want an ale to ferment at 60°F then when the most vigorous fermentation period happens the setpoint may need to be lower to keep the temp of the fermenter at a constant 60°F. Often during fermentation I am changing the fermentation freezer temp to achieve my desired fermenter temperature. This is why many shortcut and submerge the probe and really do not think about the detriment they are causing to the fridge or freezer.
Anyway, the very best thing you can do as a brewer is control the fermentation temperature. There are many other things which can improve your beer, but hands down fermenter temp should be number one.