I’ve been fascinated with the idea of first wort hops ever since I first read about it. To sum it up for anyone who isn’t familiar with the idea, the official method for first wort hopping (FWH) is to take 1/3 of your finishing hop addition, and add it to your first runnings as you lauter your mash. The expectation is that somehow, from steeping in the warm (but not boiling) wort, you will extract a significant amount of flavor and aroma that will not boil off during the boil (due to how it combines with the warm wort during the lautering process).
Exactly how this happens is less well explained, or even understood, and as a result, opinions on first-wort hopping vary widely.
What I began doing about a year ago, is to FWH using 100% of my bittering addition. I still use a finishing addition, but I rarely use a hop for bittering that I don’t like the flavor and/or aroma of. It has been my experience that I still get full utilization for bittering (due to isomerized alpha-acids), and that bittering seems to be very smooth. I also seem to get a nice subtle hop flavor from that addition if I happen to be brewing a beer with only a bittering addition (such as a Hefeweizen).
I don’t know if anyone else is doing their FWH addition like I am, but I’d be really curious to hear the results from what anyone else is doing.