I just tossed them in when I used them…because it was in a carboy. I will never do that again! My usual practice is to bag fruit and other additives in a mesh bag and it really does cut down on the amount of volume lost. Not using a bag with my nibs cost me a lot of volume. I used 2 pounds of nibs for a 3 gallon batch.
I am curious…the EC is 1118 and the 1116 is K1-V1116. Which one are you using? I also use 71b for most of my melomels and 1116 for most of my traditionals. I haven’t used 1388 but have an experiment (1/2 dark candy sugar and 1/2 honey) going with White Labs 500.