I am planning on a clone of a local brew this weekend(or at least my first attempt at it.) The brewery calls for American Ale yeast so I would normally choose WLP001, but I dont have time for a starter (due to late start/poor planning) so I want to go with a re-hydrated dry yeast. The OG is expected to be 1.100 for 3.5 gallons of a double hazelnut brown. What are your suggestions for yeast choice in dry and how many packs? Any ideas are welcome and helpful.
Edit: Mr Malty calls for 1.1 dry packs and Beersmith says 2. Both sites say I need about 234B cells, and Beersmith shows 178B with 2 packs of dry US05 just a couple weeks old, which is significantly less than the necessary 234B. A follow up question in regards to dry yeast viability: what is the expected viability, and are the packs actually dated?