I don't use dry yeast very much, and am using it for an apple ale this weekend- using s-04.
seems like much variability in consensus of cell count per gram of dry yeast. for my 1.050 apple ale, target pitch is 185BB. 2 packs of s-04 at 6BB (manufacturer count) would require me to pitch 31g or almost 3 packs.
are the manufacturers estimates solid or should i use higher average cell count per gram?
Here's a link that explains the difference in counts:http://www.danstaryeast.com/articles/cell-count-and-glycogen
To summarize, Danstar (and perhaps other dry yeast companies) use plate counts to determine the number of live cells. Plate counts are reliable to determine live cells because dead cell won't grow. The problem is that it is impossible to plate single cells consistently because they tend to stick together. So when counting what appears to be colonies formed from a single cell, often two or more cells formed that colony. According to Danstar, "For Nottingham yeast the average cell count under the microscope is around 20 to 30 billion cells per gram dry yeast." That leaves it to us to determine viability.