I received a response back from Lallemand to my inquiry. After introducing myself and a bit of my process, I had two focused questions for them, both of which are shown below with responses in red:
1.) Is there any information, which you consider non-proprietary, about the provenance of this yeast? It would be nice to compare it to something else in order to know how to adjust my fermentation profile for similar results to my usual strains. (Note: Earlier in the inquiry I stated my normal yeast choices are 1214/3787)
Our Abbaye strain was originally sourced from one of the Trappist monastery breweries in Belgium and is comparable to WLP500/WY1214, giving the stone fruit/estery notes at higher gravity and fermentation temps, and more "earthy" notes at lower temps. Personally, I find it really comes into it's own on Darker styles, but is suitable for [all] the classic Belgian styles.
2.) I have read the [technical specifications] sheet and was wondering if you could provide a more definite cell count per gram than what is posted [there]. There seems to be a great gap between what some "experts" quote on cell counts versus what the yeast companies are quoting. I understand that the producer must not over-estimate cell counts, but some of the high estimates I've seen floating around are as high as 20 x 109 cells/gram. That seems crazy to me so i have always estimated [between] 10-12 x 109 cells per gram. Any insights on this?
These high cell counts of 20 x 109 cells per gram are coming from the wine industry. For most of our wine strains, the [technical specifications] are > 20 x 109 cells per gram. The cells of brewing yeast are usually larger than wine yeast cells so fewer cells per gram [are expected], but most of the wine yeast also have higher viability. Beer yeast usually have 5-10 x 109 cells per gram. Abbaye [has] more like 5-7 x 109 cells per gram.
Needless to say, i'll DEFINITELY be trying it out.