Introduction to After-Blessings (Bracha Achrona): Minimum Measurements

To say any after-blessing/bracha achrona (al ha'michya, al ha'gafen, al ha'eitz, borei nefashot, or birkat ha'mazon), you must:
  • Eat at least the minimum volume (1.3 fl. oz.--39 ml, or 1/6 cup) of solid food within four minutes, or
  • Drink at least 3.3 fl. oz. (99 ml) of liquid within 30 seconds.
Note With hot foods, especially liquids, you are unlikely to be able to swallow a minimum amount in the required time in order to qualify for the after-blessing (bracha achrona).

If Did Not Eat Minimum

Do not say bracha achrona if you did not eat 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml) within four minutes.

If Did Not Drink Minimum

Do not say bracha achrona if you did not drink 3.3 fl. oz. (99 ml) of any potable liquid within 30 seconds. Note You may not combine the volume of solid food to liquid food or liquid food to solid food that you ate and drank in order to make the minimum volume for an after-blessing.

If Did Not Eat or Drink Minimum

Size: How To Calculate

Ounces: Weight or Volume

The minimum quantity for saying after-blessings is based on volume, not weight. If you eat a pack of pretzels whose volume is 1.3 fl. oz., even though the label says it only weighs 0.5 oz., you would say an after-blessing of al ha'michya.

Figuring Volume

Figuring Volume: Non-Mezonot Foods

You may not include the volume of fish or meat or other foods eaten together with bread or matza in order to reach a total volume of 1 fl. oz., which is required for saying the after-blessing of birkat ha'mazon. However, you may combine the volumes in order to say borei nefashot.

Figuring Volume: Unswallowed Pits/Seeds

When eating foods with seeds or pits (olives, pomegranates, etc.), do not include unswallowed seeds or pits to reach the 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml, or 1/6 cup) minimum volume needed to say an after-blessing. You may include only what you have swallowed.

D'Oraita Cases

For d'oraita cases (halachot from the Torah), such as eating matza at seder or drinking wine for kiddush, we use a more stringent minimum measure:
  • Eat at least 1.9 fl. oz. (56 ml) of solid food within four minutes, or
  • Drink at least 4 fl. oz. (119 ml) of liquid within 30 seconds.

Timing

When To Start Counting

You may start counting the period of four minutes (for eating at least 1.3 fl. oz.) or 30 seconds (for drinking at least 3.3 fl. oz.) any time after the fore-blessing as long as it is continuous from when you first swallow until you have swallowed the minimum amount.
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