My question relates to waiting a certain amount of time after meat, before eating a dairy product. I know there are various Minhagim on how long one waits but my questions pertains to when the actual counting period starts? As an example, my minhag is to wait six hours and I start my meaty meal at 12pm, can I eat dairy at 6pm or from when I finish bentching?
What are the various opinions on this matter?
The halachah is that one must wait from the time one finishes to eat the actual meaty food — not from the beginning or the end of the meal, but from the time of eating the food itself.
There is an opinion that one must wait six hours after completing the meaty meal and reciting birkas ha-mazon (Aruch ha-Shulchan 89:4), but most authorities do not concur with this ruling (see Badei ha-Shulchan 89:7; Pischei Halachah, The Laws of Kashrus, pg. 201).