beer drinking toast (German)

Dear associates -- I've been watching reruns of "The Man Show" (Carolla/Kimmel), and while I know the Ziggy, Soggy toast is based on a German beer toast, I can't figure out the meaning of or reason why the "Toasters" keep their free hand hovering over their mugs/steins until the toast is finished -- and that's when they down the whole glassful. Can anyone help solve this mystery? Thanks!
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