Well, my Vindictive Vampire India Pale Ale is showing signs of bacterial infection, too. Not surprising, considering its container stood open to the elements for the three hours I spent getting stitched up after the hose-cutting incident during its siphoning. I thought I'd got lucky with it, but no.
Well, this can serve as a lesson. Yes, sanitation is important at all stages of the beermaking process. Not that I was especially cavalier in the prior two instances, but now I know to be especially paranoid at certain points of the process where I know beer is vulnerable.
To recap: Rich's Big Dawg Brown Ale was infected when I accidentally popped the gasket that would have sealed around its airlock through its hole and into the fermenting bucket. I never did get another good seal, and in trying may have worsened the problem. It was also my first time reusing bottles from 2Red, so I may not have cleaned some of them properly.
Rich's V-VIPA had all sorts of opportunity to infect as I left it open to the air of the apartment for several hours when bottling was interrupted, as chronicled above. There's also the possibility that I fouled up some portion of the siphon through inadequate sanitizing, introducing microbugs there.
Luckily I haven't committed any infectious screwups with Rich's Nearly-Finnish Sahti as yet... The bubbler was going at about one pop every 55 seconds last night, so I could bottle tonight if I felt like it, but I may make up a batch of sanitizing solution before I do, and soak all the bottles for a while before embarking on the process.
Happily Rich's 2Red Richmond Ale, my first brew, seems to have escaped infection -- I opened one of my precious last bottles last night, just to be sure I wasn't going to be shipping my friends anything nasty, and it was still the same good stuff. So I know I can do it right.